Oslo Airport to begin using driverless snow ploughs

Avinor, the state-owned company which operates most airports in Norway, is to begin using driverless snow clearing machines.

Oslo Airport to begin using driverless snow ploughs
Photo by George Kroeker on Unsplash

The plows will be supplied by manufacturer Øveraasen as part of an eight year 400 million kroner agreement signed with Avinor.

“This means a lot to us. The corona pandemic has almost led to a collapse in international air traffic. 80 percent of our customers are airport related and they have stepped on the emergency brake,” Øveraasen CEO Thor Avre Øveraasen told newspaper Dagens Nærlingsliv.

Tech company Yeti Move, based in Tonsberg, has been sub-contracted to handle the technical solutions.

“We want to be in the driver’s seat when it comes to new thinking and innovation. We are among the first in the world to put such a concept into operation and will thus be able to maintain the goal of being a leader in winter operations,” said Abraham Foss, CEO of Avinor.  

READ MORE: The essential phone apps you need to travel around Norway 

“Through an automated winter operation concept, we will solve our tasks with less resources. Streamlining and automation are high on the agenda. Ten years ago, the idea of driverless bulldozers was a sketch on paper, it is therefore very gratifying to see that the technology is now so mature that it can be put into normal operation,” he said.

The company will deliver an initial 12 snow clearing machines to Avinor.

Avinor has been trialling self-driving technology since 2018. The technology was originally tested at Fagernes Airport in Oppland.

The driverless equipment was later trialled at Oslo Gardermoen, although with a driver in the cockpit for safety. 

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Have Oslo’s new electric scooter rules reduced accidents?

New rules were brought in to combat the sharp rise in accidents and injuries involving electric scooters in Oslo. But, one month later, have the new regulations done the job?  

Have new rules had an impact on the number of accidents involving scooters in Oslo. Pictured it two e-scooters parked outside a

New rules brought in to cut down on the number of e-scooter accidents in Norway’s capital appear to have had the desired effect as incidents were more halved in September, when the rules were introduced, compared to the month before. 

This is according to figures from Oslo University Hospital’s (OUS) emergency department that have been obtained by newspaper Aftenposten

The Emergency Medical Service in Oslo registered 143 injuries in connection with electric scooters in September. In August, the month before measures were brought in, there were 301 injuries.’

Compared to the peak of accidents in June, where 436 injuries were recorded, incidents are down by almost two-thirds. 

“We are very happy. This is what we hoped for,” Henrik Siverts, chief physician at OUS’s emergency department, told the newspaper Aftenposten

‘We feared it would happen’: Oslo sees first death of electric scooter rider

Among the new stricter rules introduced for rental scooters, which included significantly cutting the number of devices in the city, was a curfew that prevented people from using them between 11pm and 5am. 

Siverts said that the curfew had a dramatic effect in reducing accidents at night. 

“Unsurprisingly, accidents have gone down at night time. What injuries we do get at night are probably people who privately own their scooters. But accidents have also gone down during the day, too,” he explained.  

Just eight injuries were recorded in September at night, compared to just under 100 in August. 

Over the summer, a surge in accidents meant accident and emergency departments in Oslo were forced to have more staff on during weekends. Still, as a result of the reduction in scooter accidents, staffing has now returned to normal. 

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