The human factor has been the cause of many air disasters. It seems that this is the reason for the crash of the A320 Germanwings in the Alps on April 24. The automation of orders for orders for flights, including the A320 is one of the best examples, probably helped to avoid many accidents. Should we go further? Nasa wants to replace the co-pilot by a new software layer, but history can precipitate. Dave Vos, the drone of Google project manager believes that one will embark line unmanned planes a day. Better, these drones of line may appear much faster than we think.
The head of Google drones wants to see unmanned airliners during his lifetime
Will you agree to board a plane without a pilot for a flight Paris-Berlin or Paris-San Francisco? Take a drone to travel will no doubt be a tough decision to make for many travellers, and yet this may be the case much faster than we think. Just as the safety argument will probably push us to buy autonomous cars in a few years, this same argument we will push into these “ultra-secure” drones.
It is in any case the position of Dave Vos, head of the “Project Wing”, the drone of delivery project developed in the labs of the [X] Google. This expert in drones, former researcher from MIT and founder of Athena Technology, acquired by Rockwell Collins, intervened during a symposium on the drones organized in Montréal by the ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization). Dave Vos said that he wished to see fly these commercial drones trade as soon as possible. The pioneer of drones, aged 54 years, believes that commercial aircraft are feasible, but above all he believes that he will see this during his lifetime.
The A320 has reduced the crew of 3 to 2 persons. Nasa tests the cockpit in 1 place
Nasa has been working for 2011 on a concept of cockpit for a single crew member. The device under test leaves the captain in the aircraft, however the co-pilot remains on the ground. Ensconced in his office, the co-pilot will support 12 flights. A gain of “productivity” which should not be insensitive directions of airlines. The project looks already very advanced, especially at the level of the software necessary for this ‘super’ capable of juggling with 12 aircraft co-pilot. Many predictive algorithms are at work to anticipate changes of trajectory, possibly calculate a trajectory of emergency in case of damage.
In the cockpit, the captain has a display dedicated to collaboration with remote co-pilot. The Single Pilot Operation program tests are underway in the simulator of Rockwell Collins and will be completed by September 2015. One last step before the first airliners without cockpit?
Translation : Bing Translator
“Head of Google drone project predicts pilot-free planes”, CTV News, 23 mars 2015
“NASA Advances Single-Pilot Operations Concepts”, Aviation Week, January 12, 2015
“Rockwell Collins selected by NASA for single-pilot operations study”, Rockwell Collins press release, december 15, 2014
“Single-Pilot Cockpit Idea Floated in NASA Study”, Wall Street Journal, December 14, 2014
“Toward single pilots operations: Developing a Ground Station“, Nasa research paper [pdf]