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Industry Giants Taking the Lead

October 6, 2023

Airbus A350-1000 widebody airliner has successfully achieved fully autonomous taxi, takeoff, and landings in a series of test flights. On the other hand, Boeing conducted flight tests for five jets that were autonomously flown by artificial intelligence (AI).

Major players in the aviation industry, such as Boeing and Airbus, are also investing in autonomous aircraft technology. It is being done to maintain a competitive edge and be at the forefront of the industry.

Imagine a scenario where regulation favors autonomous flights one day. If Airbus was fully prepared to launch its latest development while Boeing was behind, it could potentially lead to severe consequences for Boeing (and vice versa). Therefore, both industry giants have completed projects dedicated to autonomous flying without pilot intervention.

Regulatory Bodies Are Not Ready

While numerous companies are actively working towards developing autonomous aircraft, it’s clear that the regulatory framework has not yet come to a stage where single-pilot operations, let alone full autonomy, are seen as feasible.

The aviation industry operates under strict safety standards, and any drastic shift in operational procedures requires comprehensive evaluation and validation. Due to the complexity and criticality of flight operations, it is unlikely that near or even relatively distant future legislation will allow single-pilot operations or fully autonomous flights.