Unmanned Aircraft Are Closer Than They Appear

It is a running joke among fliers that the pilot’s job is to simply press autopilot and do a quick weather report. Despite the knowledge that computers already perform the majority of maneuvers, landing, and flying during a flight, passengers are still hesitant to take the pilot away and make planes truly “driverless.” These hesitations are common across the unmanned vehicle industries, where entrepreneurs and investors see a bright future while potential passengers remain skeptical.

What challenges still face the future of driverless vehicles? Is the tech ready or is it just public perception holding it back?

One of the major motivators to move this tech forward is simple dollars and cents. UBS estimates savings of $15 billion if passenger and cargo planes reduce their pilots to one, and an additional $20 billion if pilots were eliminated entirely.[1]

With a major pilot shortage expected soon, the need to remove them from the equation will only grow more pressing. The technology is progressing rapidly, with a focus on taking the need for pilots to monitor, adjust, and tweak instruments during a long haul.[2] Innovators envision pilotless planes with reduced crew sizes and teams in stations on the ground doing additional monitoring for potentially hundreds of flights simultaneously. A majority of fliers still refuse to fly without a pilot, though perceptions may shift as cars get a similar treatment.

Uber’s rough year of accidents has many questioning if driverless cars have the momentum necessary to go mainstream. At the moment, one of the most curious and difficult challenges facing those behind driverless cars has to do with other humans on the road. Autonomous cars are currently programmed to be extremely cautious, which can be frustrating to human drivers who are more aggressive.[3] Innovators are balancing a need to accommodate for such behavior or hoping that humans adjust as well. Though Uber’s driverless fatal accident has eyebrows raised, initiatives around the country are moving forward to test driverless cars on the road.[4]

Industry observers recognize that a pilotless plane simply has less to worry about, easing the requirements on the tech in a given moment. The problem remains breaking down barriers of trust and societal expectations around having someone behind the wheel.[5] With unique and formidable challenges facing these two major sectors, it’s truly up in the air whether we will see pilotless planes or driverless cars first.

 

[1] https://markets.businessinsider.com/news/stocks/pilotless-planes-could-be-a-35-billion-opportunity-wall-street-is-missing-2018-7-1027367387

[2] https://money.cnn.com/2017/08/07/technology/business/pilotless-planes-passengers/index.html

[3] https://wtop.com/tech/2018/03/what-are-the-challenges-to-driverless-cars/

[4] https://www.freightwaves.com/news/technology/autonomous-trucking/ohio-moves-forward-on-autonomous

[5] http://peakonetechnology.com/would-pilotless-planes-make-sense/

Follow us on social media for the latest updates in B2B!

Image

Latest

Next generation of security solutions
The Future of Security: Discovering the Next Generation of Security Solutions at ISC West
April 23, 2024

The recently concluded International Security Conference & Exposition West 2024 (ISC West) proved to be an indispensable platform for discovering the next generation of security solutions, providing attendees with invaluable insights into the future of the industry. At a recent episode of MarketScale’s roundtable show Experts Talk, Cathal Walsh, Vice President and Chief Security […]

Read More
Cyber Resilience: To Protect Corporate Assets, Businesses Must Invest in Cybersecurity Training
April 23, 2024

As cyberattacks occur at increasing frequency, cybersecurity has become a cornerstone of corporate security strategies across all sectors. With businesses increasingly reliant on digital infrastructures, the quality of a company’s cybersecurity training is no longer just an operational requirement — it is a strategic asset. The stakes are high, as a breach can lead […]

Read More
Forming Relationships with Industry Insiders Can Quell Sales Cycles and their Length of Time
April 23, 2024

New companies are facing more and more challenges in the security industry as sales cycles are experiencing lengthier times. One of those reasons is due to the complexity of the security industry itself, along with the unique and special business models every new company will come in with. But there is a solution to […]

Read More
Cyber-first approach
From Bollards to Bytes: Why Security Firms Need to Adopt a Cyber-First Approach
April 23, 2024

How can the security industry effectively navigate the shift from traditional physical security measures to adopting a cyber-first approach in its sales and integration strategies? The transition from physical to digital security solutions was a major theme at the International Security Conference & Exposition West 2024 held earlier this month. On a recent episode of […]

Read More