Airbus separates the traveler from the luggage #tsy13

During the T-Systems Symposium 2013, Airbus has introduced Bag2Go an intelligent suitcase which can travel completely independently and transported to the destination without the owner. Travelers Airbus want to allow more flexibility and mobility by arriving the target free of luggage by plane, ship, train, car, bike or by foot. The Bag2Go service relies on the business cloud infrastructure of T-Systems.

Background of Bag2Go

A Bag2Go is self-weighing, self-labeling, self-travelling, self-tracing and has features of a continuous tracking. In addition, according to Airbus, it consistently adhere with all common standards today, so that the current infrastructure at airports must not be changed. Using a smartphone app the status and whereabouts can constantly be monitored.

Airbus plans to cooperate with different transport services (eg DHL). So, for example, the traveler can fly by plane to the destination, but his baggage arrive by land, ship or another aircraft to the target. Package services or door-to-door luggage transportation services to provide transportation of luggage to any destination in inland or abroad in a hotel or cruise booking.

A follow-up is generally convenient, but makes only sense if one can also intervene in the action. For this purpose, Airbus relies on a GPS tracking in conjunction with a transport service provider, such as transportation / logistics or the airline.

Motivation of Airbus

Airbus has obviously developed the concept Bag2Go not without self-interest. The point is to make the first steps for the aircraft of the future. This means that Airbus is building sustainable and ultra-light aircrafts, for which is as little weight as possible required. At the same time, fuel consumption is significantly decreasing. To remove the heavy luggage from the plane is the key component. The separation of passenger and baggage streams to enable Airbus and the entire industry to control the carriage of baggage proactively and open up completely new business opportunities.

According to Airbus, the containerization of luggage is continuously gaining in importance as more and more people will take a door-to-door transport in and claim their baggage up to three days prior to departure or use a baggage kiosk. For this reason, Airbus will try to establish fully networked transport capsules as a standard.

Interesting approach – but not for everyone

Airbus faces with his concept less technical but more legal problems. Means a traveler and his luggage need to fly together. A suitcase can fly afterwards the passenger, but not ahead. In addition, business executives challenged the three days in advance luggage check-in during the presentation, because they pack their suitcase itself up to one hour before the flight. A few more conversations after the presentation confirmed the general opinion and attitudes of business travelers on the subject.
Nevertheless, Bag2Go is an interesting concept we will see soon in reality. At the same time it is a great use case for the Internet of Things. Bag2Go forms an analogous to the architecture of the Internet routing, where a single IP packet, normally associated with a complete data stream, can also take different paths to the goal.

By Rene Buest

Rene Buest is Gartner Analyst covering Infrastructure Services & Digital Operations. Prior to that he was Director of Technology Research at Arago, Senior Analyst and Cloud Practice Lead at Crisp Research, Principal Analyst at New Age Disruption and member of the worldwide Gigaom Research Analyst Network. Rene is considered as top cloud computing analyst in Germany and one of the worldwide top analysts in this area. In addition, he is one of the world’s top cloud computing influencers and belongs to the top 100 cloud computing experts on Twitter and Google+. Since the mid-90s he is focused on the strategic use of information technology in businesses and the IT impact on our society as well as disruptive technologies.

Rene Buest is the author of numerous professional technology articles. He regularly writes for well-known IT publications like Computerwoche, CIO Magazin, LANline as well as and is cited in German and international media – including New York Times, Forbes Magazin, Handelsblatt, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Wirtschaftswoche, Computerwoche, CIO, Manager Magazin and Harvard Business Manager. Furthermore Rene Buest is speaker and participant of experts rounds. He is founder of and writes about cloud computing, IT infrastructure, technologies, management and strategies. He holds a diploma in computer engineering from the Hochschule Bremen (Dipl.-Informatiker (FH)) as well as a M.Sc. in IT-Management and Information Systems from the FHDW Paderborn.