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Would you fly in a pilotless airplane?

28 January 2020 7:15 AM
Tags:
flying
airplanes
pilotless airplanes
automated flying
Aircraft expert Linden Birns says humans still have a psychological block despite available technology.

There is a lot of talk about autonomous vehicles - but usually of the car variety.

Planemaker Airbus has been conducting tests and a A350 has done at least 8 takeoffs by itself. Though, entirely monitored by humans.

In 2019, a survey of 22,000 people by US software firm Ansys indicated that 70% of travelers would be prepared to fly in fully autonomous aircraft.

A recent Traveller24 poll here in SA only had a 31% affirmative response rating.

Linden Birns, MD of Plane Talking chats to Refilwe Moloto about the new technology and possible uptake.

Travellers are happy to travel on a driverless monorail but seem less sure about aircraft.

It's psychological I think.

Linden Birns, MD - Plane Talking

The idea of a pilot is a comforting image says Birns, even though much flying is automated.

They are finalising the automated take-off.

It is going to be a long time before we are able to suspend that sense of discomfort or insecurity though the technology is there.

Linden Birns, MD - Plane Talking

Full automation in the skies will not be happening soon.

I think it is going to be another couple of decades before people are comfortable with this.

Linden Birns, MD - Plane Talking

We are still human beings and want to know that there is a fail-safe.

Linden Birns, MD - Plane Talking

He says these transitions have been made before in history such as from propeller airplanes to jets.

Proving the new technology to regulators (and travellers) can take many years.

Listen to the interview below:


28 January 2020 7:15 AM
Tags:
flying
airplanes
pilotless airplanes
automated flying

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