Increasing attention is being directed towards driverless cars, but what about pilotless planes? In the last 40 years, the number of flight passengers has increased by 700%. As the demand for flight travel increases, airlines are constantly looking for ways to optimise the process. Is the answer to completely automate the process? In this article we will discuss whether replacing aviators with automatons could be the future of air travel.
Is it feasible to have pilotless planes?
Automation in the cockpit is nothing new. Military technology such a drones already demonstrate that the technology is available. Although, it is still a long way off the level needed for commercial flights. Big aviation companies such as Boeing have backed the idea of pilotless planes, planning to test out the technology some time this year. The CEO Dennis Muilenburg has high hopes that automated air-taxis will be widely available within the next decade! While opinion about the topic and it’s feasibility differ, pilotless planes are definitely possible.
(Image retrieved from: http://www.lifo.gr/now/tech_science/85930)
How are passengers reacting to pilotless planes?
How would you feel about being flown by a robot? If this thought makes you uneasy, you are not alone. Unfortunately for companies backing the development of pilotless planes, members of the public are not so optimistic about the idea. UBS conducted a survey about automated flight travel with 8000 respondents, only 17% of these people said they would be willing to buy a ticket for a pilotless flight! Skepticism towards this new technology is understandable, given that many people have a fear of flying even with a human pilot!
(Image retrieved from: http://www.nationalgeographic.com.au/engineering/overcome-your-fear-of-flying.aspx )
How safe is it to fly without a pilot?
As technology advances further, the safety of automated transport will undoubtedly increase. However in light of Uber’s recent self-driving car crash that resulted in the death of a civilian, we need to consider how safe pilotless planes would be. The reality is that automated flights are would be more dangerous than automated cars. If the computer system in a car detects a problem, the car can simply stop. Whereas the computer in a plane would need to detect the nearest landing strip and successfully land the plane. Flight safety specialists claim that even though much of flying is already automated, pilots still need to interfere on a regular basis. Some aviation experts also claim that computer operated planes are at risk of being hacked. So while it is still hard to tell at this stage, pilotless planes certainly have plenty of hurdles ahead before starting commercial flights! But let’s stay positive about the future!
(Image retrieved from: https://nothstine.blogspot.nl/2010/12/sunday-morning-toons-what-year-is-it.html)
Will you still be able to claim compensation for delayed flights with no pilot?
The Air travel industry is expected to go through some massive changes over the next few decades, but one thing will never change: flight delays. There is no current regulation regarding pilotless flight delays, however sometimes it more important to focus on the present. At Flightdelayed.co.uk our mission is to help delayed passengers and ensure they are treated fairly by their airlines, even taking legal action when necessary. If you would like to check to see if you are entitled to compensation, you can use our free flight checker to find out if you can file in a claim with us! (You will not be charged if your claim is unsuccessful).