Autonomous Airport Cart Experiment A Partial Success

In troubled times, a nation needs heroes of all kinds to look to, and it appears we’ve got one, Jorge Manalang, who took down an airport catering cart that went feral and started doing autonomous donuts, faster and faster, threatening to slam into workers on the tarmac or the airplane at the skyway. The video of the event went pretty viral, with even a future former United States President re-tweeting it.

In the increasingly unlikely event you’ve yet to see the video, here you go:

Advertisement

The semi-successful experiment in autonomous airport support vehicle technology happened at Chicago’s O’Hare airport, at a gate occupied by an American Airlines Embraer 145 commuter jet. The catering cart, which appears to possibly be an EZ-Go or similar type of golf cart-style vehicle, modified for catering truck service, seems to have had its accelerator stuck, and to be left in reverse gear, sending it on backwards spirals of ever-increasing speed.

Manalang finally stopped the cart by ramming it with what appears to be a cargo-moving piece of equipment similar to a ride-on pallet jack. The impact toppled the rambunctious cart, and it’s expected that American Airlines will put the machine down in a humane manner.

American released a statement about the event, saying

No American Airlines team members were injured and the incident resulted in one 10-minute flight delay. We appreciate the quick action of our team member who stopped the vehicle.

Advertisement

A 10-minute delay isn’t too bad, considering everyone on the plane got an exciting show. I just hope Jorge there gets a raise.

Share This Story

About the author

Jason Torchinsky

Senior Editor, Jalopnik • Running: 1973 VW Beetle, 2006 Scion xB, 1990 Nissan Pao, 1991 Yugo GV Plus • Not-so-running: 1973 Reliant Scimitar, 1977 Dodge Tioga RV (also, buy my book!)