DailyDirt: Robotic Planes... Seriously, And Don't Call Me Shirley.

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

Human pilots get tired and need sleep -- and some airline pilots get some rest at "crash pads" when they're off duty. Knowing that might not be too comforting to many passengers, but who's willing to let a robot fly a few hundred people around? Autonomous planes are getting more advanced all the time, though mostly for unmanned missions with aircraft that couldn't possibly carry people on board. Maybe someday we'll have autonomous Jetson-cars... in the meantime, here are a few links to some interesting UAVs and flight automation. By the way, StumbleUpon can recommend some good Techdirt articles, too.

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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 18 Feb 2011 @ 7:56pm

    It's not so much safety as it is profits.

    The FAA limits the number of hours a pilot can work (including traveling to where the jet is), and puts many more restrictions on them to insure that they are well rested when they are flying.

    The biggest problem for pilots is boredom. In my experience almost all pilots are type A personalities, and once they take off the planes do fly themselves. An emergency might crop up at any second that requires their attention, but until it does the pilot and copilot have nothing to do. That's where some of the human error you're hearing about comes from.

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