WHILL Inc, a developer and service provider of electric mobility chairs, announces the WHILL Autonomous Model A power chair has been honored with a CES Innovation Award at the Consumer Electronics Show.
The CES Innovation Awards are an annual competition honoring outstanding design and engineering in consumer technology products. The WHILL Autonomous Model A won in the category of Accessibility for its innovative features that enable seniors and persons with disabilities to easily navigate airports, regardless of cognitive, mobile, hearing, or visual abilities.
Passengers with reduced mobility are the fastest-growing demographic in the airline industry, making it difficult for airports to meet the additional demands that come with accommodating their needs. By transporting passengers to their gates, the WHILL autonomous power chair relieves demands on the airline of providing manual wheelchair push services, while helping passengers with mobility issues to explore the airport with greater freedom.
The user selects their destination on a touch screen and then hits start. The WHILL autonomous power chair does everything else. The service is safe and reliable thanks to the power chair’s ability to independently detect and avoid obstacles in the airport using sensors and automatic brakes. In the near future, passengers will be able to make additional stops at predetermined locations like restrooms, shops and restaurants.
The autonomous chair service has been tested in several U.S. airports, including Atlanta, San Jose and Grand Rapids, with excellent results. In December 2022, WHILL announced the first permanent installation in North America at Winnipeg Richardson International Airport in Manitoba.
WHILL Autonomous Service is part of WHILL’s ecosystem to connect the world with walking-area mobility products and services. The ecosystem is adaptable to a variety of situations that require short-distance transportation. In addition to autonomous drive technology, WHILL offers manual drive rentals to be utilized at malls, museums and other destinations, multi-day vacation rentals, and the Model C2 and Model F for full-time use. WHILL also provides access to places not possible by other means of transportation, such as electric kick scooters, bicycles, taxis, trains and airplanes.
“WHILL products and services are uniquely designed to reduce barriers and improve the quality of life for our customers,” said Kerry Renaud, CEO of WHILL North America. “WHILL is thrilled to be recognized again at CES, especially as we broaden our reach of innovative products to support customers in their full range of mobility needs, from personal mobility devices to fully autonomous and manual drive power chairs.”
This is the second consecutive year and fourth time that WHILL has been honored with a CES Innovation Award. They were previously honored in 2022 for the WHILL Model F foldable power chair designed specifically for travel.
[Source(s): WHILL Inc, GlobeNewswire]