Would you trust a self-flying plane? Boeing to start testing autonomous aircraft


While some of the world’s biggest tech and car companies are currently testing self driving cars, Boeing this week announced it will start testing self-flying planes.

The company says it wants to develop autonomous planes which would be capable of navigating themselves without the need of a human pilot.

While today’s modern planes can already take off, cruise and land almost by themselves, with little human input, Boeing wants to go one step further.

The company planes to use artificial intelligence that will make decision in-flight which typically only pilots would be trusted to make.

“When I look at the future I see a need for you know 41,000 commercial jet airplanes over the course of the next 20 years. And that means we’re going to need something like six hundred and seventeen thousand more pilots. That’s a lot of pilots.

“So one of the ways that may be solved is by having some type of autonomous behaviour and that could be anything from taking instead of five pilots on a long haul flight down to three or two, taking two pilots down to one in a freight situation, or in some cases going from one to none,” said Mike Sinnett, vice president of product development at Boeing told Reuters.

Boeing says it will test self-flying technology on a simulator this year before using it on a real plane within the next year.


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