Technically already possible: Why autonomous flying is still to come

Technically already possible: Why autonomous flying is still to come

At the Paris Air Show Airbus is traditionally represented with a large team. Also on site was Christian Scherer, the Group's Chief Commercial Officer. Compared to the news agency AP, he now confirmed: The Group could fly aircraft today without pilots. Literally, he said, "Autonomous flying is not a technology issue." Still, it will take some time for the systems to actually operate in the aircraft. This is mainly due to two groups of people: the customers and the officials of the registration authorities. Above all, the opinion of the paying passengers is important. Because no group will want to go through the complex procedure of an approval process, if then no one wants to travel with the aircraft.

Image: Romain COUPY [CC BY-SA 4.0 (]

Boeing has further increased skepticism about flight software

Even today, pilots are heavily supported by automated systems. These take over a large part of the tasks in the air and can under certain conditions also independently start and land. Nevertheless, there are always pilots on board who can take over the helm at any time. The skepticism about aircraft flown purely by the software is likely to have been reinforced by the problems of the model Boeing 737 Max. Because here a faulty software made sure that two machines crashed and 346 people died. Meanwhile, Boeing has also officially acknowledged that it was a design flaw and the pilots on board were not to blame. Confidence in completely autonomous aircraft should not have increased this.

The supervisory authorities still have to pass rules

However, a survey by the software company Ansys came to the conclusion that around seventy percent of the respondents were prepared to go into autonomous aircraft. Whether this is much or not is likely to be a matter of interpretation. In principle, probably no airline will be ready to give up about 30 percent of customers. At the same time, however, skepticism is likely to decrease once various autonomous aircraft are active and there are no problems. But before that, it's up to national regulators to regulate how aircraft can be registered, monitored and operated. Experts therefore assume that the job of the pilot is likely to be safe for some time.

Via: Business Insider

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