Aviation

Air NZ trials future of travel with social robots

Air New Zealand customers at Sydney Airport will get to experience the role robots may play in future travel journeys this week.

The airline is partnering with CommBank in a five-day experiment utilising Chip CANdroid, the bank’s social humanoid robot, which will interact with and assist Air NZ customers checking in and at the gate prior to boarding.

Air New Zealand Chief Digital Officer Avi Golan said, “This partnership and experiment with Commbank and Chip is another way we are pushing the boundaries to ensure we remain at the forefront of technology which will allow us to further enhance the experience we offer our customers.”

Air New Zealand has worked with a range of technology partners to introduce innovations which are enhancing the experience it offers customers.

For example, Oscar, the artificial intelligence–backed chatbot has been introduced to assist customers with a more personalised online experience or biometric bag drops which identify customers using face-to-passport recognition.

“We are also experimenting with potential enhancements of the future, including the idea of our cabin crew one day using Microsoft’s HoloLens augmented reality viewers onboard our aircraft,” said Golan.

Commonwealth Bank established a social robotics team within its Sydney Innovation Lab in late 2016, with the goal of partnering with different businesses to get robots out of the concept stage and into commercial contexts.

Tiziana Bianco, General Manager Innovation Labs, Commonwealth Bank said, “This experiment is a great example of why we invested in social robotics; working collaboratively with an innovative client like Air New Zealand, while also engaging some of the brilliant minds from UTS’s Centre for Artificial Intelligence.

“It is a wonderful opportunity to explore the possibilities of a horizon technology such as social robotics, and what it might enable in the future.”

Bianco added social robots can bring to life information that is not particularly engaging when delivered by a screen.

“People interact with them in a very social and sometimes emotional way, which means they can enhance experiences in ways that other technologies are unable to do,” she said.

“Chip is one of the most advanced humanoid robots in the world, and is perfect for our work aimed at understanding how humans and robots interact in dynamic social spaces.

“The opportunity to experiment with a robot like Chip in a real world environment such as Sydney Airport is unique, even on a global scale.”

Air New Zealand customers can meet Chip at the Air New Zealand check-in counter and at selected departure gates at Sydney International Airport until Friday 25 August.

SEE WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING

Leave a Reply

Destinations

Influencer visits IKEA store, fools followers into thinking she’s in Bali

This savvy influencer somehow convinced her followers she was in Indonesia when, in reality, she just took a trip to her local furniture store.

Share

CommentComments

Wholesalers

ACCESS DENIED: Excite’s booking platform is now closed

by Huntley Mitchell

Were you planning on retrieving some booking info from Excite Holidays’ platform? Well, unfortunately you’ve left it too late.

Share

CommentComments

Road & Rail

Road & Rail Wrap: DriveAway’s new call centre, Amtrak Vacations sale + MORE!

Yes, it’s our weekly dose of news covering all things on the railway tracks and on the road. We’ve even gone off-road for this wrap!

Share

CommentComments

Tourism

Venice uses mobile phones, surveillance cameras to track tourist movements

Be sure to clear your search history before your next trip to Venice, because officials have started gathering mobile data from tourists.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Union slams Jetstar’s claims it bribed strikers

by Ali Coulton

Jetstar claims the union handed out vouchers to strikers as an act of “desperation”, but the TWU says there’s nothing out of the ordinary about compensating workers.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Qantas axes flights across group as coronavirus to hurt FY20 profit

by Huntley Mitchell

Travel Weekly understands Alan Joyce has been forced to take out a loan on his new Maserati, as Qantas delivers some not so good news to shareholders.

Share

CommentComments

Cruise

Quarantined cruise passengers begin journey home, as coronavirus spreads to the Middle East

by Ali Coulton

Diamond Princess and Westerdam have disembarked their remaining passengers, ending almost a month in limbo amid coronavirus fears.

Share

CommentComments

Travel Agents

CTM suffers half-year profit slump, warns of coronavirus impact on FY20 performance

by Huntley Mitchell

We assumed the smile on Jamie Pherous’ face in the accompanying photo has turned to a frown following CTM’s bleak half-yearly results.

Share

CommentComments

Hotels

Hotel Wrap: Accor’s new partnership, Ovolo offers guests a ‘Freesome’, Westin opens in Ubud + MORE!

Wondering what a ‘Freesome’ is and if it’s considered rude for a hotel chain to offer one to guests? Find out here. Oh, and you’ll also get all the latest updates from the hotel industry as a bonus.

Share

CommentComments

Cruise

Chimu and Paul Kelly to give back to the environment on Antarctica cruise

Did you hear “From Little Things Big Things Grow” and “How To Make Gravy” blaring from Chimu HQ this morning? Discover the cause here.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Delta CEO and Ellen DeGeneres weigh in on seat recline debate

An airline CEO and a TV talk show host have taken sides on the aviation debate that has divided the internet this week.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

MH370 case continues with fresh revelations

by Christian Fleetwood

Ahead of the premiere of a new documentary on the doomed flight, an ex-prime minister has thrown in his two cents.

Share

CommentComments