Aurora Flight Sciences wants to replace the co-pilot by a robot

It won’t be only one pilot in the cockpit of commercial flights? It is in any case that prepares the American Aurora Flight Sciences. “It’s like having a co-pilot with 600,000 hours of flight at his side”, as John Langford, CEO of Aurora Flight Sciences summarizes the project of the A1 machine. This specialist of drones, contracting by DARPA, offers boarding an artificial intelligence to assist the pilot. We remember that embedded computing had resulted in the disappearance of flight engineers of the cockpit of the Airbus A320 in the 1980s. AI will maybe have reason co-pilot before passengers agree finally to travel in unmanned drones.

The research progresses in order to replace the co-pilot by a robot. When in airliners?


The ALIAS robot, already tested on several types of devices, perhaps foreshadows the co-pilot of tomorrow.

For John Langford, the advantages of the robot on the man to replace him in the right seat of an airliner cockpit are many. Never tired, never distracted, the robot allows to eliminate the so called human error of piloting. In theory however because as humans, it will be submitted to the technical failures of the aircraft and its instruments. However, the founder of Aurora Flight Sciences has strong arguments to defend his approach. Of course, his AI will have hours of learning that no human will never build up in his career. In addition, it will have predictive algorithms to anticipate changes in the weather. The ALIAS project under the research program Aircrew Labor In-Cockpit Automation System (ALIAS) from DARPA, the American has already successfully installed a robot in the cockpit of a small twin-engine Diamond DA-42, and then from a Cessna Caravan. The program plans to test the device in a nice type UH-1 helicopter. With its A1 project, john Langford already evokes the next step, i.e. replace the co-pilot of the airliner. He assured that his robot will be able to ensure the takeoff and landing of an aircraft in a completely autonomous way. There is no doubt that this innovation will resonating with leaders of low-cost airlines, always on the lookout for new ways to reduce costs.

Translation : Bing Translator
Sources :
“Would YOU trust a robot to fly a plane? Airliner tests A1 machine to replace co-pilot”, Express, November 25, 2016

“DARPA Sees Cockpit Assistance Building Pilots’ Trust In Autonomy”, Aviation Week, November 18, 2016

“Podcast: Can A Robot Be Your Co-pilot?”, Aviation Week, November 18, 2016

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