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Airliners without Pilots

Source | LinkedIn : By Matthew Rosenquist

Boeing will begin testing pilotless jetliners in 2018. Yes, the future of air travel may include planes without pilots. Just computers and calculations to get passengers safely to their destinations. Advances in Artificial Intelligence (AI) is opening up possibilities to make flying safer, more consistent, easier to manage, and cost efficient.

the basic building blocks of the technology clearly are available ,” 

said Mike Sinnett, Boeing’s vice president of product development.

Automation and Safety

Planes already are under the control of computers most of the time. They can take off, fly to their destination, and even land in semi-automatic modes. The question is not if it is technically possible, but rather would it be safe in all situations where risks of safety to passengers arise. It is not about the 99% of flight time, but rather those unexpected and unforeseen moments when snap decisions are required to keep the passengers safe.

Not too long ago, Captain Chelsey Sullenberger made a miraculous effort avoid disaster when a flock of geese struck his plane shortly after takeoff. He was able, against serious odds after the engines were rendered ineffective, to avoid populated areas of New York city and glide the plane to a safe landing on the Hudson River. The pilot saved 150 passengers and potentially countless people on the ground.

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