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Innovation and portfolio evolution continue to be driven by the portfolio teams and SITA Lab, with the objective of turning developments and research in solutions addressing industry pain-points.

Innovation and portfolio evolution continue to be driven by the portfolio teams and SITA Lab, with the objective of turning developments and research in solutions addressing industry pain-points.

SITA’s portfolio development and innovation at airports: 2020 and into the future

Creating frictionless, safe travel using SITA Smart Path, SITA Flex and border solutions for touchless, automated, biometric and mobile-enabled journeys.

Driving operational excellence through business and artificial intelligence, for aircraft turnaround, baggage tracking, airport operations, passenger flow and more.

Enabling safe, healthy, seamless and secure journeys for passengers, crew, aircraft parts and more – through innovations in digital identity and verification.

While SITA portfolio teams address industry problems with today’s deployable technology, the SITA Lab engages with industry players to explore the potential of emerging technology in a three-to-five-year timeframe.

Steered by SITA’s Innovation Board, SITA innovates collaboratively, taking on the risks of technology investigations through Proofs-of-Concept (PoCs), trials and pilot projects – mindful that not all research will always become a SITA portfolio solution.

The approach includes partnering and co-innovating with airline, airport and border customers, proven innovative companies, early-stage ventures and universities.

Trials, PoCs and other research projects underway in 2020 and into 2021 are looking at new and emerging technologies across the journey, supply chains and operations, including biometrics for digital identity, Artificial Intelligence, Computer Vision, Machine Learning, blockchain, and digital health credentials.

A YEAR AT-A-GLANCE:
Collaboratively innovating with the world’s
air travel industry

7%+

of revenues invested in R&D, product development and delivery (2019-20).

365+

patents granted to SITA by the end of 2020 for innovations. SITA continues to safeguard its investments in key technologies for the recovery with 225+ more patent applications in the pipeline.

12

new SITA product introductions and 20+ start-up incubations resulting from the R&D carried out by SITA’s Lab, with more in the pipeline.

80+

co-innovation projects by the SITA Lab since inception in 2008. They include trials and Proofs-of-Concept (PoCs) for use cases addressing industry challenges, complementing innovation in SITA’s portfolio teams.

A YEAR AT-A-GLANCE:
Key achievements in the year

Biometrics

and related innovations took place to enhance SITA Smart Path, including Smart Path Mobile. SITA’s common-use mobile and biometrics-enabled self-service solution enables whole journey identity management.

NEC biometrics

partnership combines SITA Smart Path ground-breaking passenger processing with NEC’s cutting-edge identification technologies. Ability to integrate with common-use environments, for low-touch, efficient experiences. See also: At airports.

Touchless

is high on the agenda with SITA delivering contactless and low-touch travel globally, including touchless and remote control of kiosks and bag drops via mobile devices, touchless superfast bag tagging, and more.

Digital ID

research– a focus of SITA’s Lab. SITA became a Premium Donor of the Sovrin Foundation which advances blockchain self-sovereign digital identity (SSI) to give individuals sole ownership and control of their identity.

Digital travel

remains an industry and a SITA goal. Self-sovereign digital identity (SSI) promises a truly secure and seamless journey using a biometric single token travel. SITA is further testing SSI in 2021 to simplify international arrivals and more.

AI use cases

remain in constant exploration by SITA for On-Time-Performance, aircraft turnaround, flight prediction, stand allocation, passenger flow, chatbots and more.

Social distancing

is driving airports to unobtrusively measure compliance with the rules. Using Lidar sensors, as deployed in SITA’s passenger flow solutions, the SITA Lab worked with a major European airport in 2020 to send alerts to staff apps on detecting a lack of distancing in its security hall.

Bag Vision: 95%+

tracking accuracy achieved in 2020, in a PoC using a high performing deep learning prototype based on AI and Computer Vision. Leading to zero-touch, end-to-end baggage tracking. PoC partners include a major North American airline and airport.

A YEAR AT-A-GLANCE:
Innovation milestones in the year

A world health 1st

underway in a Digital Health Certificates PoC between SITA and universal health verification provider Affinidi. It will deliver end-to-end health verification for passengers, integrating with SITA’s Health Protect. More countries are evaluating the approach.

Digital health

credentials are key to recovery and future travel and must be exchanged securely. Under the SITA Lab’s Digital Identity program, work started on digitally verifiable health credentials, tested in Aruba and with a major US international airport.

E-Pilot Licenses

SITA Lab PoC continues with ICAO, using Self-sovereign digital identity (SSI) to digitize pilot licenses and demonstrate offline verification in a decentralized way. COVID-19 has intensified problems in license issuance or renewal.

82%

of crew satisfied in a SITA Lab PoC with Etihad Airways for biometric and mobile device identity for crew check-in for flight and standby duty.

Blockchain

pioneered by SITA under the umbrella of the SITA Global Blockchain Alliance. Includes MRO Blockchain Alliance PoC to digitally track aircraft parts. Plus investigations into air cargo supply chain (shipment and ULD tracking), flight information, baggage customs clearance, Digital Health Certificates and more.

Digital Twins

create a virtual replica of the airport to model vast amounts of data to rapidly analyze, predict and control airport operations. Successful trials at La Guardia. New trials with Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen International Airport, and Boston Logan Airport.



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