Technology is ready to take over, and that includes airplanes. Although air travel is no stranger to autopilot, most people are uncomfortable with the idea of flying on a fully automated plane.
According to a new report from Swiss bank UBS, the aviation industry could save $35 billion a year by making planes pilotless. The cost of skilled employees would be cut by $31 billion, related training by $3 billion and fuel by $1 billion. That’s a whole lot of money; but there’s just one minor issue: According to the survey of 8,000 passengers, 54 percent are unwilling to board a plane without a pilot. Only 17 percent of participants, including people from the U.S., U.k., France, Germany and Australia, said they would fly on a fully automated flight.
The report stated that younger participants, ages 18 to 34, seemed more willing to fly without a pilot, with 30 percent saying they would try it out. UBS analysts were positive about the result, stating that “acceptance should grow with time.”
The technology needed to operate automated planes could be here by 2025. UBS said there’s also room for automated business to extend to jets, helicopters and commercial aircrafts beyond 2030.
“We think it is likely we would initially see cargo the first subsector to adopt new related technologies, with the number of pilots falling from two to one and eventually from one to none,” the report said.
Despite many people declining to fly on automated planes, major plane manufacturers are pushing for the change. Fortune reports that Boeing announced in June it was testing the appropriate technology and hinted that artificial intelligence could replace a number of tasks currently conducted by pilots.
As time passes, there is the possibility that people may one day not have a choice anymore. UBS mentioned that by the middle of the century, the majority of travelers will be willing to fly without a pilot.
Coutesy : Syracuse