Bag2Go: Modern baggage travels solo

Jun 13, 2013

  • Airbus, T-Systems and RIMOWA revolutionize travel with a cross-industry collaboration
  • Intelligent baggage receives travel instructions via a smartphone app
  • Passengers keep full control over their baggage and can track it via the app any time, anywhere in the world

Baggage that is collected from the starting location and received once arriving at the destination - that's what travelers want when they are waiting at baggage claim and dragging their suitcases through the airport and back to the hotel. The dream of many airline passengers is on the way to reality, thanks to a cross-industry innovation project from Airbus, RIMOWA, and T-Systems. At the 50th International Airshow in Paris, the aircraft manufacturer, baggage manufacturer, and ICT service provider - all experts in their fields - are revealing their smart baggage solution: the vision foresees the first intelligent suitcase that airline passengers can send on a solo journey and make traveling with uncomfortably heavy baggage a distant memory.

A bar code contains all relevant baggage and flight information
The intelligent suitcase is fitted with a radio and software module with a display. The airline passenger inputs all of the necessary flight data via a smartphone app and transmits it to the airline, which generates a bar code and sends this to the display of the unit on the suitcase. This bar code assigns the baggage a unique identifier linked to the passenger, and is used for checking in the baggage and forwarding it to its destination. A separate bar code is created for each flight containing information such as the weight of the suitcase and who its owner is, along with all of the flight details. This data allows the suitcase to go traveling independently of its owner, right to the destination - even if flights are changed or canceled at short notice, or a connecting flight is not made.

The smart suitcase is enabled to tell its owner and the airline exactly where it is at any time at the touch of a button - except during flight. The smartBaggage solution also registers whether a suitcase was opened during its journey and informs the owner when and where this occurred. Passengers just travel light with handy cabin baggage and no longer have to carry heavy suitcases to the check-in desk or wait around in baggage claim after landing. This substantially cuts waiting time at check-in and upon arrival. Additionally, airline passengers retain full control over their baggage and the weightiest part of any airline trip is a thing of the past.

Airlines can reduce costs associated with missing baggage
The smart suitcase can reduce baggage handling costs for airlines as well as costs associated with missing baggage. According to SITA, an organization specializing in aviation data, airlines incur losses of some USD 2.5 billion every year from lost or delayed baggage, with more than 11 items of baggage for every 1,000 passengers going missing completely or for days at a time.

T-Systems developed the information and telecommunications solution required globally for this cross-industry innovation, and operates the applications in its own data centers. The partners are planning to continue collaborating on additional airport and mobility solutions for customers of Airbus, RIMOWA, and T-Systems. This will enable airlines and logistics companies to offer their customers a baggage pick-up and drop-off service from home to their destination, such as a hotel. It might also be possible in future to lease smart baggage for a business trip or holiday. More service providers will be brought on board as the concept develops.

Airbus, RIMOWA, and T-Systems reveal the prototyp of their smart baggage solution on 19th June 2013 during the 50th International Airshow Paris in Le Bourget.

About Deutsche Telekom
Deutsche Telekom is one of the world’s leading integrated telecommunications companies with 133 million mobile customers, 32 million fixed-network lines and more than 17 million broadband lines (as of March 31, 2013). The Group provides products and services for the fixed network, mobile communications, the Internet and IPTV for consumers, and ICT solutions for business customers and corporate customers. Deutsche Telekom is present in around 50 countries and has 230,000 employees worldwide. The Group generated revenues of EUR 58.2 billion in the 2012 financial year – more than half of it outside Germany (as of December 31, 2012).

About T-Systems
Drawing on a global infrastructure of data centers and networks, T-Systems operates information and communication technology (ICT) systems for multinational corporations and public sector institutions. T-Systems provides integrated solutions for the networked future of business and society. The company's some 52,700 employees combine industry expertise and ICT innovations to add significant value to customers’ core business all over the world.
T-Systems generated revenue of around EUR 10 billion in the 2012 financial year.

About Airbus
Airbus is a leading aircraft manufacturer with the most modern and comprehensive family of airliners on the market, ranging in capacity from 100 to more than 500 seats. Airbus champions innovative technologies and offers some of the world’s most fuel efficient and quiet aircraft. Airbus has sold over 12.800 aircraft to more than 350 customers worldwide. Airbus has achieved some 7,900 deliveries since the first Airbus aircraft entered into service. Headquartered in Toulouse, France, Airbus is an EADS company.

About RIMOWA
RIMOWA is one of the leading premium brands worldwide for cases made from aluminium and the high-tech material polycarbonate and is one of the few manufacturers of travel luggage still producing in Germany. One could say that RIMOWA is probably the only manufacturer with a history stretching back over more than 110 years with a distinctive, deep-rooted tradition – an exceptional position in the industry. To RIMOWA, "Made in Germany" and "German Engineering" mean: outstanding materials, brilliant technology and extraordinary product design, crafted to the highest possible quality. For decades now, the identifying feature of the collections, which are being continually optimized, has been the elegant and unmistakable groove structure of the case shells. The traditional company with headquarters in Cologne sells its products in over 65 countries worldwide via selected dealers, its own stores, the number of which is being continuously expanded across the globe.

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