Boeing studies new technology for autonomous flights
The company is committed to reducing the number of pilots from two to one and achieving autonomous flights by incorporating advanced technologies, in addition to remote assistance
The Boeing company currently invests in innovation for the future. The automated technology is among its plans with the ambition to replace the second pilot in the aircraft and achieve completely autonomous flights.
Although currently international regulations require two pilots in flight, Boeing studies the possibility of dispensing with the second one, whose function is to replace the main one in case of any contingency and maneuver until landing.
As a precedent to this initiative, it can be pointed out the elimination of the third pilot that was achieved in 1980. On that occasion, the position of flight engineer was eliminated through the incorporation of advanced technology. The elimination of the second pilot would allow in a few years the redesign of the cockpit as well as the simplification of the controls, which would completely pass to digital interfaces.
The project would be applied first in cargo planes to later incorporate the automata technology in flights with more than 20 seats. In this case, the objective will be to face the shortage of pilots that currently affects the industry.
However, the main focus of the idea is to reduce the human error rate and increase flight safety. In this sense, it was known that the algorithms that are currently used by automated systems successfully control the height of flight and correct it if necessary.
The changes provided by Boeing also include remote assistance through a human pilot on the ground to control maneuvers if required. In any case, there is still a long way to go and at least two decades are foreseen to achieve fully autonomous aircrafts.
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