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Will We Have Pilot-less Planes in the Near Future?

Google has been working on driver-less cars for a while, with a pretty good success rate.

Now they’ve set their sights on flights.

According to Bloomberg:

 The chief of Google Inc.’s experimental cargo-drone program wants to see automated flight go beyond pilotless planes and extend to commercial air travel.

Just as automation has proved its worth in factories by removing tedious work from employees’ hands, flying can be made safer once aircraft aren’t designed around the need for humans at the controls, according to Dave Vos, who leads Google’s Project Wing.

I think this idea is cool and would create safer flight.  But I don’t think it would fly–at least for a long time.

First of all, FAA regulations are much more complex than road regulations.  And they take forever to adjust.

The FAA completely forgot about drones in its new $5 billion system… despite being reminded to include them.

I also think there would be a distinct passenger distrust of the system.  For a driver-less car, you just need the buy in of the driver.

For a pilot-less plane, you need the buy in of the passengers who would buy tickets on it.

Did you know it is safer to sit backwards on an airplane?  In the event of a crash, you have a higher rate of survival, plus less severe injuries.

But passengers don’t want to face backwards.  Mythbusters showed you are less likely to sustain neck injuries and your body can absorb more Gs.

I think it will basically take a generational shift before people would be comfortable will pilot-less planes.  Driver-less cars would have to be more of a norm before the public would be okay with flying in them.  Even if they are safer.

What do you think?

About Jeanne Marie Hoffman

Former bartender, still a geek. One equal part each cookies, liberty, football, music, travel, libations. Stir vigorously. +Jeanne Marie Hoffman Jeanne on Twitter

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