Google Is Quietly Working On Pilot-Less Airlines

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Presented By Wingz – Scheduled Airport Rides


Google is like a woman: it has an answer for everything.

“Let’s take unmanned all the way. That’s a fantastic future to aim for,” said Dave Vos, who leads Google’s Project Wing, at the annual conference of the Association of Unmanned Vehicle Systems International.

The Mountain View-based company has been working on Project Wing, a part of the Google X research unit, for months. They are allegedly testing a single-wing drone in Queensland, Australia to deliver packages to farmers. The design was scrapped because it was too difficult to control. “The drone was designed to take off vertically and then fly horizontally,” explained Google X Chief Astro Teller.

GoogleProjectWingWho’s really flying the plane?

Have you ever questioned what’s really going on behind that closed cockpit door? It’s true that airline computers and electronic control systems allow pilots to fly “hands off” beginning soon after takeoff, continuing through the flight route and — in very rare cases — all the way to touchdown.

During the flight, the pilots rely a lot on computerized control systems and navigation aids since planes move in three dimensions, not just two as motor vehicles. When an incident happens, human emotions can leave negative impacts on the way our pilots make decisions.

Transition airliners to robotic supervision, therefore, would be a leap beyond Google’s research into fields such as self-driving cars. “Going up and over really opens up a whole new world of efficiency again and saving of energy. It’s really, really a dramatic and remarkable transformation,” said Vos.

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration’s recent relaxation of rules to receive exemptions to fly commercial drones is making it easier to test in the U.S. “Three or four months ago we were a little bit concerned about how much progress we could make here in the U.S. I really do have to say I think what we’re seeing today is a significant opportunity to work here in the U.S. with the FAA.”

“It’s a matter of building momentum. With that momentum, with that pressure, with that consumer enthusiasm, we can make it happen.” — Dave Vos

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