5.31.2006

 

Airbus heading straight for robotic pilots

Airbus Planes to Use Computers
In Crash-Avoidance Maneuvers


From the article:Besides the fact that it "sets the stage for broader use of computerized safety systems down the road," it obviously sets the stage for completely eliminating pilots from the cockpit. See Robotic Nation for details.

The last paragraph of the article is also interesting. A reader sent in an excellent point: imagine the day that a Boeing plane causes a major accident because the human pilot cannot react fast enough. Boeing gets sued for not using robots. It is known that robotic pilots will soon surpass human ones in every way, because robots will have far more specialized computing power and sensor access than human pilots. Ignoring this will be a liability that either forces a reversal by Boeing, or opens it to liability.

Comments:
There had better always be the opportunity for a manual override by the human pilot.
 
well letting the autopilot handle basic rerouting is different that emergency manuevers.

No, you don't let them handle emergencies like military aircraft chasing them.
 
Certainly will make them less succeptible to a plane takeover, however, I think it will never happen. People will always want another human being at the wheel when it comes to their safety. Sorry to be the only contrarian on this blog, but get real, mac.
 
People probably used to say that about the guy who pushed the buttons in the elevator, anonymous.
 
Hi Pat-

If the elevator fails, you don't plummet thousands of feet to your death.
 
Exactly right, in an elevator you generally fall at most hundreds of feet to your death.
 
Several Airbus aircraft have already crashed as a result of autopilot malfunctions, including at least two manufacturer demo flights. Based on their past record I wouldn't want to fly as a passenger on a fully robotic Airbus, well, just about ever.
 
Terrorist: Turn this plane around, infidel computer!

Computer: Bite me, Ahmed.

(Shoots him with cockpit defensive weapons)
 
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