Airbus monitors toilet use in cabin sensor trial

10th of October 2019
Airbus monitors toilet use in cabin sensor trial

Aircraft manufacturer Airbus is using sensors to track the use of toilets on a new "connected" plane.

Sensors have been placed on the lavatory door latches, on seats, in the overhead lockers and throughout the cabin on one of the company's A350-900 wide-body aircraft.

Airbus will use these sensors to track how many times the lavatory doors are opened and closed. This will give cabin crews a better idea of when to restock items such as toilet paper, hand towels and soap.

The company also intends to use cameras to track the number of people queuing for the loos at any one time. They will be informed of the likely wait time and directed to the next available toilet, with passengers' faces being pixelated to minimise privacy concerns.

Data is gathered via the aircraft's on-board wifi system and shared with flight crews upon landing. The aim of the trial is to see how far such a system could relieve aircraft pressure points such as over-long lavatory queues and the scramble for overhead lockers.

Airbus also wants to track the number of times the seats are reclined on a typical flight. This will give airlines a better sense of when seats are likely to need maintenance to avoid them being out of action on a flight which would lead to a loss of revenue.

The trial "connected" plane went into operation in August and will fly until the end of the year. Airbus will then assess whether or not the system would be viable on commercial aircraft.



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