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Airbus pitches pilotless jets -- at Le Bourget

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Airbus pitches pilotless jets -- at Le Bourget

Old 18th Jun 2019, 12:05
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Airbus pitches pilotless jets -- at Le Bourget

AP Interview: Airbus is ready for pilotless jets - are you?

(with not-so-subtle reference/implication to pilot performance re: the 737 MAX crashes)

https://apnews.com/d8d911a9f1844df1a314a42c346e74a4

LE BOURGET, France (AP) — The chief salesman for Airbus says his company already has the technology to fly passenger planes without pilots at all — and is working on winning over regulators and travelers to the idea.

Christian Scherer also said in an interview with The Associated Press on Monday that Airbus hopes to be selling hybrid or electric passenger jets by around 2035.

While the company is still far from ready to churn out battery-operated jumbo jets, Scherer said Airbus already has “the technology for autonomous flying” and for planes flown by just one pilot.

“This is not a matter of technology — it’s a matter of interaction with the regulators, the perception in the traveling public,” he told The Associated Press.

“When can we introduce it in large commercial aircraft? That is a matter we are discussing with regulators and customers, but technology-wise, we don’t see a hurdle.”

Several manufacturers are presenting unmanned aircraft at the Paris Air Show, primarily for military purposes — and some are also proposing pilotless “air taxis” of the future.

When it comes to autonomous passenger jets, safety is an obvious concern. It’s an issue that is on many minds after two deadly crashes of the Boeing 737 Max jet that have implicated problematic anti-stall software.

Scherer said the crashes “highlighted and underlined the need for absolute, uncompromising safety in this industry, whether from Airbus, Boeing or any other plane.”

While he said Airbus’ sales strategy hasn’t changed as a result of the crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia, “there is a capacity need that materialized as a result of this, and naturally you have airlines that are frustrated over capacity, that are looking for answers.”

Airbus announced several orders Monday as the air show kicked off, while Boeing had an anemic day as it works to win back trust from customers.

Scherer forecast continued growth in the aviation industry after several boom years, predicting the world will need at least 37,000 new aircraft in the next 20 years, especially in Asia — and that eventually the whole industry will stop creating emissions and “decarbonize.”
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Old 18th Jun 2019, 12:27
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The chief salesman for Airbus
Who would have thought a salesman making such a statement /sarc


predicting the world will need at least 37,000 new aircraft in the next 20 years, especially in Asia — and that eventually the whole industry will stop creating emissions and “decarbonize.”
So Christian please explain why aircraft manufacturers, will only 'eventually' de-carbonise, when other industries have already transtioned and even the IMO International Maritime Organisation will be fossil fuel free inside fifty years.
Maybe because that won't please airlines and much better to pitch something that calms the frayed nerves of IR managers at airlines world wide.
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Old 18th Jun 2019, 12:39
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Single-pilot operation? Possibly, as technology advances. Single occupant behind a locked door? Cross me off the passenger list.
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Old 18th Jun 2019, 13:03
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Pilot less planes or one pilot?

Trust my life on a computer or one guy up front behind locked doors?
That is the day will start taking the boat again if they still exist.
Computers fail. It is code type in by a programmer. All considerations have to be type in.

I program and know that things are missed or not thought of and then what? We put in a quick fix.



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Old 18th Jun 2019, 13:13
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That is the day will start taking the boat again if they still exist.
at that time the boats and the trains will likely be automated too
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Old 18th Jun 2019, 13:43
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at that time the boats and the trains will likely be automated too
Yes, but they are not so dependent on the law of gravity
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Old 18th Jun 2019, 13:46
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Originally Posted by ATC Watcher View Post
at that time the boats and the trains will likely be automated too
Automation won't kill you because it makes a mistake, because it's gone nuts, because it feels suicidal or it's just having a real bad day. Automation will kill you because someone got the design wrong, or the implementation, or failed to account for the situation in the design, or... essentially all the ways transport and engineering can kill you today anyway. Or maybe you just ended up on the wrong side of the trolley problem - that one'll be new.

One guy behind a locked door? Not sure. I may take the automation instead. Maybe that's the intention, to make that appear to be the choice.
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Old 18th Jun 2019, 13:55
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I suspect the biggest hurdle will be getting a salesperson who will be capable of selling tickets on one of these a/c. We have seen recently that technology has eliminated a lot of causes of accidents but has substituted new causes. A lot of pax decide to entrust their lives to the skill of aircrew on the basis that said aircrew enjoy living as much as they do. A computer doesn't understand the concept.

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Old 18th Jun 2019, 14:17
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They're all at it!
Looks like Boeing landed a "pilotless" KC 46 there as well, if the landing was anything to go by;

KC 46 tanker landing at Paris Airshow

https://youtu.be/PzRGsZJkjUY

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Old 18th Jun 2019, 14:50
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Aircraft are much easier to fly than cars are to drive . . . there will come a point when an automated system will be statistically safer than using pilots . . . neither will ever be 100% safe . . . the real question is, which one is safer at a point in time ? . . . Views of the flying public will rapidly change IF fully autonomous aircraft are shown to be safer than using pilots as part of the control system . . . it is inevitable that this will happen at some point . . . whether it is cost effective is a different matter.
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Old 18th Jun 2019, 15:36
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I'll be long gone before full automation will be used on commercial passenger airliners. I imagine that if and when the day comes, it will first be on cargo aircraft for a good many years before the final step of fully automated passenger operations. Future generations will see it as quite normal. Now, if it was to come in next year, I would most definitely change my mode of transport!
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Old 18th Jun 2019, 16:32
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Aircraft are much easier to fly than cars are to drive .
Errr...on what do you base that? A pilot is thinking and acting (or at least monitoring) in 4 dimensions (the conventional 3 plus time). A car driver is only in 2. In fact, if you accept that a car is following a road, he is only in 1; straight ahead.
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Old 18th Jun 2019, 16:48
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Originally Posted by fergusd View Post
Aircraft are much easier to fly than cars are to drive . . . there will come a point when an automated system will be statistically safer than using pilots . . . neither will ever be 100% safe . . . the real question is, which one is safer at a point in time ? . . . Views of the flying public will rapidly change IF fully autonomous aircraft are shown to be safer than using pilots as part of the control system . . . it is inevitable that this will happen at some point . . . whether it is cost effective is a different matter.
Absolute bollocks
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Old 18th Jun 2019, 16:58
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Flight engineers (and navigators) are waving their hands towards pilots....
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Old 18th Jun 2019, 17:26
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Originally Posted by wtsmg View Post
Absolute bollocks
seconded .

Written by someone whos never flown an aircraft Id guess, or a bitter wannabe
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Old 18th Jun 2019, 17:32
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Auxtank - no it definitely takes a pilot to stuff it up that badly and still get away with it.
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Old 18th Jun 2019, 17:33
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Whatever they design will have to pass ‘the Hudson Test’ and that will be a long-long time. Or do people think the bar should be set lower?
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Old 18th Jun 2019, 18:38
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Originally Posted by KiloB View Post
Whatever they design will have to pass ‘the Hudson Test’ and that will be a long-long time. Or do people think the bar should be set lower?
Not a good test. An autonomous aircraft facing the exact same situation might simply return to La Guardia without drama.

Not to say Sully that didn't do a superb job -- he absolutely did -- but computers are much better than humans in such situations. I.e., problems with clear constraints where an immediate solution can be computed. There would be no hesitation, no need to query ATC about possible options, no "can we make it to Teterboro?" back-and-forth, etc., all wasting precious seconds.
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Old 18th Jun 2019, 19:00
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Originally Posted by emeritus View Post
I suspect the biggest hurdle will be getting a salesperson who will be capable of selling tickets on one of these a/c. ...
No, just cut the price enough and the loco pax will line up.

Of course, pilotless is just the start. Look how much we could save by going cabin-crewless too!
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Old 18th Jun 2019, 19:00
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Originally Posted by Herod View Post
Errr...on what do you base that? A pilot is thinking and acting (or at least monitoring) in 4 dimensions (the conventional 3 plus time). A car driver is only in 2. In fact, if you accept that a car is following a road, he is only in 1; straight ahead.
One thing you could say is - if airspace is totally controlled - the advantage in autonomous flying is all the aircraft are under the same control system, going to a small number of known destinations on a coordinated and published schedule. Commercial aircraft can be relied upon to obey the rules of the road so to speak. The challenge in cars is blending autonomous cars, that will presumably be (an big if!) acting rationally, mixed in with drunk texting yahoos taking selfies, sheep wandering across the road, etc etc.
Off the two, autonomous aircraft will be "easier" to develop, but the consequences of failure are more severe. In cars you could be right 99% of the time and still be much safer than what we have. In aircraft your threshold is much higher because you start with a much higher bar. The public seems to accept carnage on the road, but not in the air.
In the end I very much doubt it will be worth getting rid of pilots for all sorts of reasons, public acceptance being the biggest. I can think of a lot of good reasons to get rid of drivers! I personally think fully autonomous vehicles will be limited to well defined infrastructure.
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