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.
“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.