Scientists have created a new pilotless airplane. Although cars and spacecraft continue to develop consistently, decades-old plane technology still relies heavily on human pilots. Cessna 208 was designed to operate autonomously and reduce the risk of human error.
Rather than upgrading the existing autopilot technology, the team built the Cessna prototype from the ground up. House-made software, electronics, actuators, and other machinery make up a new system that performs emergency response faster than a human pilot. Sensors and computer chips solve issues, and duplicate parts ensure failure backup.
"You have all this navigation that you need to manage, communications between other planes and taking instructions from air traffic control. All the while, you are one mistake away from a fatal accident.'" says Reliable Robotics Corp. founder Robert Rose.
The long term plan is to fill the sky with pilotless aircraft transporting cargo and passengers while increasing efficiency and reducing air transportation industry's safety risks.