Are you ready for a robot?

Recent trials with automatic take-off and landing systems have demonstrated their viability, but will passengers accept ‘Captain Autopilot’? Dave Unwin delves into the pros and cons of pilotless flight.

Technology takeover? Autoland active is clearly shown on all three screens in this cockpit shot.

Airbus recently completed a series of tests with an A350 where it successfully performed an automatic take-off. Using image recognition technology installed directly on the aircraft, the successful test – along with Garmin’s incredible ‘Autoland’ system coming to market – made me wonder how far are we from an autonomous airliner?

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