Self-Flying Plane Technology Exists, According to Airbus

Photo by  G-R Mottez  on  Unsplash

Photo by G-R Mottez on Unsplash

People are no longer startled over the existence of self-driving cars, but what about self-flying planes? Airbus, a multinational aerospace corporation, claims the technology required for a self-flying commercial aircraft is available and ready for use.

What’s stopping them? Well, Airbus CCO, Christian Scherer, told the press that the major obstacles the company is facing are coming to agreements with regulators, lawmakers, and earning the customer’s trust. 

Autonomous planes can be developed for military use, replacing aviators for risky missions, essentially saving lives. However, when it comes to commercial flights, customers are skeptical about whether or not they are willing to trust artificial intelligence (AI) technology for transport at 30,000 feet in the air.

Recently, there have been multiple accidents caused by the use of autonomous technology, such as the two Boeing 737 Max crashes and the self-driving Uber that crashed last year, killing a pedestrian. These series of unfortunate events provoked controversy about the safety of AI-controlled vehicles. Many believe that the human aspect is necessary for safe travel, knowing that a person can quickly regain control of the aircraft in an emergency is comforting.

The aftermath of a  Boeing 737 Max  crash that took place in Ethiopia.

The aftermath of a Boeing 737 Max crash that took place in Ethiopia.

On the other hand, research shows that 80% of airplane accidents are caused by human error, and therefore eliminating the need for a pilot removes the human error, decreasing the chance of a crash.

How quickly Airbus introduces AI technology to their planes depends on whether or not their customers are confident that the use of autonomous planes will not jeopardize their safety as passengers.

The question is: would you rather be on an autonomous plane or a pilot-controlled plane? 

George Awad