Speed Bumps on the Road to Vehicle Automation

Supply Chain @ MIT

Unmanned cockpits a long way off? Unmanned cockpits a long way off?

The tragic loss of Germanwings Flight 9525 in the French Alps has galvanized discussions about pilotless aircraft, and whether we have the technology to safely replace humans with computers in the cockpit.

In broad terms the answer is yes, we do have the technology, but of course the route to full automation in passenger planes – and for that matter in cars and trucks too – is far from straight. To find answers we need to look at the journey rather than the destination.

Passenger aircraft are already heavily automated; computers handle even the trickiest segments of a flight when the plane is taking off and landing. In fact, in today’s modern jetliners, a pilot action – such as turning the yoke – simply activates the computerized controls of ailerons, stabilizers, spoilers, slats, rudder, elevators, flaps and thrust, such that the desired maneuver can…

View original post 652 more words

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s