"Advances in sensor technology, computing and artificial intelligence are making human pilots less necessary than ever in the cockpit."

-- John Markoff, New York Times

#Robots

Fri, Apr 10th, 2015 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

Citing the crash of the Germanwings plane, the need for pilots in commercial planes is being questioned. Particularly, experts note that with commercial aviation already heavily automated, planes could easily be flown using robots or remote operators.

In a recent survey of airline pilots, those operating Boeing 777s reported that they spent just seven minutes manually piloting their planes in a typical flight. Pilots operating Airbus planes spent half that time.

And commercial planes are becoming smarter all the time. “An Airbus airliner knows enough not to fly into a mountain,” said David Mindell, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology aeronautics and astronautics professor. “It has a warning system that tells a pilot. But it doesn’t take over.”

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