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Jeremy Vine Show - Pilotless Airliners

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Jeremy Vine Show - Pilotless Airliners

Old 21st Aug 2016, 16:23
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The problem with 'driverless cars' is that they've been massively overhyped. Fanboys have been yelling that they'll eliminate all road deaths next month, but the reality is they're a long way from being able to cope with anything much less than ideal conditions, and will be for many years yet. If insurers are backing away from insuring them, it's only because fantasy has been replaced by reality as more and more of them crash.
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Old 21st Aug 2016, 16:26
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The other advantage of computers is that you do know how they will cope.
One second you're talking about the glories of neural networks, the next you're talking about how you can predict what a computer will do.

That alone tells me you don't know what you're talking about. The big downside of neural networks is that you really can't tell what they're going to do. You just train them to react in ways you want them to react, and hope that slightly changing the inputs won't cause them to react in a completely different way.
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Old 21st Aug 2016, 16:33
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Factually untrue.
Google are saying 2018
Maybe you should stop listening to media fanboys and actually look at what Google are actually saying themselves:

Google Self-Driving Car Will Be Ready Soon for Some, in Decades for Others - IEEE Spectrum

Yes, you can build a car today that will drive itself around a contained track in good weather. But one that can drive through a city during a snowstorm that dumped six inches of snow in the road won't be here before cars are obsolete.
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Old 21st Aug 2016, 17:07
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Originally Posted by MG23
One second you're talking about the glories of neural networks, the next you're talking about how you can predict what a computer will do.
No, I said you know how they will cope.
What I should have said more clearly is that they won't get scared/excited/nervy.
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Old 21st Aug 2016, 17:11
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Originally Posted by MG23
Maybe you should stop listening to media fanboys and actually look at what Google are actually saying themselves:

Google Self-Driving Car Will Be Ready Soon for Some, in Decades for Others - IEEE Spectrum

Yes, you can build a car today that will drive itself around a contained track in good weather. But one that can drive through a city during a snowstorm that dumped six inches of snow in the road won't be here before cars are obsolete.
1. This is Google. They are one of many, and not previously a car manufacturer.
As previously linked, there are a very large number of serious car manufacturers who think otherwise. Most of which have actual cars (with monitor drivers for safety) on actual roads racking up actual miles.

2. You are misrepresenting his speech. He is quite reasonably saying that some environments are trickier than others. Just because autonomous cars cannot instantly go everywhere does not mean they are going nowhere soon.
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Old 21st Aug 2016, 17:16
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Originally Posted by haughtney1
there has been a noticeable scaling back on the commercial (rather than research) element thanks in no small part to the first attributable deaths as a result of the systems currently available, it has also meant that the insurance industry has had to redefine the risk, making the cost of insurance excessive.
The car that hit the truck is not an autonomous car and is not advertised as such. It is specifically advertised as not autonomous and requiring monitoring.

1million people die every year on the roads. It is only natural that the autonomous cars will have fatalities. It is worthy of note that they have even now got a lower accident rate than manned cars.
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Old 21st Aug 2016, 17:39
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Tourist have you heard of the edit function? Saves you having to write post after post..
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Old 21st Aug 2016, 18:43
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I think unmanned cargo jets will be a routine thing by the year 2027. Unfortunately for human pilots..

Last edited by evansb; 21st Aug 2016 at 19:06.
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Old 21st Aug 2016, 22:43
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As the originator of this thread, may I say how honoured I am to have Mr John Farley involved.
Basically, his "Steerers" will never - in my opinion - replace the "Operators".
Therefore - we could never have "pilotless passenger aircraft".

Last edited by Arfur Dent; 22nd Aug 2016 at 08:37.
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Old 22nd Aug 2016, 00:33
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Originally Posted by evansb
I think unmanned cargo jets will be a routine thing by the year 2027. Unfortunately for human pilots..
Hardly possible. I don't know what is this hype about cargo planes that they would be the first to be pilotless.

One only needs to have a look at average cargo fleet age (especially short/medium range) and the reason why is that so (old aircraft = cheap aircraft = makes at least some profit).

I can't see DHL or Fedex retiring their old fleet and replacing them with VERY expensive (if you want to have it first, you have to pay big bucks) pilotless aircraft. I was wrong before, though.
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Old 22nd Aug 2016, 00:37
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Apart from the flying, who deals with all the other cr@p during and average turn round?!
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Old 22nd Aug 2016, 01:17
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Originally Posted by Tourist
The money is being spent right now, as usual, by the military.

There are autonomous aircraft currently operational delivering cargo.
Autonomous.
Not remotely controlled.

They will do the heavy lifting on this one, and as time progresses and the safety benefits become apparent the civil world will follow.

The reason they will want to follow is not the safety aspect, that will merely justify it.

The benefit from their perspective is the extra passenger space, reduced weight and the drop in wages.

How many pilots per aircraft does your airline have?

Do away with all those wages. All those pensions. All those uniforms. All those medicals. All those hotel rooms. All those crew meals. All that training.

That's worth a few billions.
The autonomous aircraft will also do casevac. There are also many 'optionally piloted vehicles'.

The capabilities for fully autonomous aircraft exist now and many of the issues seen as 'stoppers' on this forum have been addressed already in standards work and demonstrated by test flights as soluble.
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Old 22nd Aug 2016, 01:32
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I agree with JF.
The next generation may see the pilot replaced by an operator (we are still far from being just that). Without having to maintain flying skills training would be simpler and cheaper. The qualification would be easier to aquire and salaries would reduce as supply increased. The improved costs and safety would push back the case for true autonomous flight with all its complexities and infrastructure costs.

After that future developements depend on economics and statistics.
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Old 22nd Aug 2016, 01:51
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Anyone who thinks the 'Next Gen' aircraft are going to be pilotless need to take a cold shower and go have a look at the 737Max. That will still be a 'new' aircraft in 2030!!

To go from that to semi-autonomous I think is unachievable and certainly unpalatable by the regulators.

I also find the attitude that regulators will just move heaven and earth to accomodate pilotless aircraft also a little optimistic.
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Old 22nd Aug 2016, 02:00
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I also find the attitude that regulators will just move heaven and earth to accomodate pilotless aircraft also a little optimistic.
Not to mention the international cooperation required.

Imagine a flight from Paris to Dubai to HKG. All those nationalities would have to agree....
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Old 22nd Aug 2016, 04:23
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Before pilotless planes and driverless cars, I would like a robot that can get me a beer and take out the trash.


An ant has more intelligence than a computer/machine will ever have.


Unfortunately, in today's world, too many people are drinking too much Kool Aid.
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Old 22nd Aug 2016, 04:30
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Originally Posted by airman1900
An ant has more intelligence than a computer/machine will ever have.
You are not really helping your credibility with statements like that.
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Old 22nd Aug 2016, 07:40
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I think that the term 'operator' will not be taken to by the pilot community; 'cruise pilots' seems to be the accepted term and some say they are already in cockpits at this moment. Their advance into the cockpits today is the source of many of the comments on the PPRUNE threads.

For twenty years the following scale has been used for levels of automation. These are often referred to as
Human IN the loop,
Human ON the loop and
Human OUT OF the loop.

Low
1 The computer offers no assistance, human must take all decisions and
actions
2 The computer offers a complete set of decision/action alternatives, or
3 Narrows the selection down to a few, or
4 Suggests one alternative, and
5 Executes that suggestion if the human approves, or
6 Allows the human a restricted veto time before automatic execution
7 Executes automatically, then necessarily informs the human, and
8 Informs the human only if asked, or
9 Informs the human only if it, the computer, decides to
10 The computer decides everything, acts autonomously, ignores the
human
High
(from Designing Human-Automation Interaction: a new level of Automation Taxonomy, a paper for Single European Sky ATM Research. http://www.hfes-europe.org/wp-conten...14/06/Save.pdf )

Note that for much of the flight and for many if not all systems many modern aircraft are already operating at Level 9.

Ask which one you feel you are operating at in your current aircraft. Remember all the back and forth about whether your company 'allows' manual flying (Human in the loop) or insists on the automated system flying (human on the loop).

It is all down to costs. Even risk/hazard analysis is monetized as is pax acceptance. As a proportion of operating costs, reliable automation is rapidly dropping; the cost of human pilots is increasing and as many have already stated here their reliability is dropping. Fully automating aircraft is many times easier than full automation of cars.
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Old 22nd Aug 2016, 12:32
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I think you will find that most airlines are not far past point 2. Most have a failure then hand over to the pilot to sort out. Old Gen aircraft 737NG, 767, 757, 747, won't be giving you any direction as to solving it and the pilot has to figure out if the warning is actually real and which checklist to use.

777 and airbus type aircraft have electronic checklist which do some work for you but it is still the pilot doing the problem solving.
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Old 22nd Aug 2016, 12:42
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Neville

TCAS

Does an Airbus refuse to let you over-speed/overbank/under-speed/stall etc?

Will your Emirates Boeing let you add power after a bounce?!?!?

Do your engines tell you about all their readings or do some just go back to HQ?

During the take-off run, are some warnings inhibited?

Are some error messages downloaded at the end of the day?

Does your pressurisation require input?

Does your aircraft suggest the cruising levels?

Does your aircraft suggest the speed to fly?
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