AI in aviation – is that possible?
In the past couple of decades, artificial intelligence (AI) has emerged from academia into the mainstream. It is now being used in a number of applications and sectors, including air travel. AI’s ability to learn by experience means that it can be trained for any task or job within an organization. Even one as complex as aviation. As this technology becomes increasingly powerful, how will it impact the business of air travel? This article explores some possibilities.
AI is becoming more common and much more powerful. The travel industry has been slow to adopt AI, but it is catching on. There are a number of benefits that artificial intelligence can offer air travellers –
- Making reservations easier,
- Checking flight status or
- Finding the best deals for flights.
Although in its infancy, there are new technologies such as chatbots that can be used at airports. They will save time by eliminating check-ins and other lines before you board your plane.
This technology offers many advantages over traditional methods. For example customer service representatives who cannot keep up with demand due to high call volume.
Chatbots have features such as FAQs which make them faster than calling a customer service representative.
Some of the advantages of AI in aviation
There are other ways that AI will affect the future of air travel, as well. Airports are already using AI to predict flight arrivals and departures times with surprising accuracy. This can help reduce wait time for passengers when they land at an airport.
Flight arrival services too can benefit from the use of AI, which is currently being used to reduce the wait time for passengers and ground crew alike.
Predictions show that by 2035 there could be as many as three billion passengers flying each year around the world. That means airports are going to need help dealing with all these people. AI will also play a major role in helping airlines deal with this increasing demand. It can help forecast air travel patterns more accurately than humans ever could. AI-based systems are already predicting flight delays before they happen, improving customer service during high traffic periods like Christmas and New Year’s Eve.
Artificial intelligence won’t be replacing human workers anytime soon. Instead it will supplement them by taking on busy work so that employees can focus on tasks that require emotional labor or creativity. With this new technology coming into the airline industry every day, how long until we see an entirely automated airport?
Can aircraft design and maintenance be impacted by AI? Will AI assist with flight planning, takeoff, and landing? There are already companies investigating these possibilities, and it is possible that AI will be more common in flight planning sooner than we might imagine.
Would you fly in a pilot-less aircraft?
Will aircraft pilots soon be replaced by sentient computers? Do you think the flying public are ready for this? Will it make air travel more affordable, or safer??
After all, one of the primary reasons people avoid flying is because of the fear that they’re going to crash. But if you could install a computer on an airplane that was as intelligent and competent (or better) than a human being, wouldn’t this significantly reduce your chances of crashing?
You might think “but hey – isn’t there still at least some manual control needed?” Well, in fact not really. The automated system can take over responsibility for much of what happens outside the cockpit. This includes communication with other aircraft and ground stations, monitoring hazards such as weather conditions or traffic, and even landing the aircraft.
You might be wondering how we know that it is safe to delegate so much responsibility to a computer? Well, in fact there are already some fully automated systems flying commercially! That’s right, you could fly from Singapore to New York with no human pilot aboard. In this particular case, the flight was piloted by an AI system developed by US company “SenseFly” (a subsidiary of eSpatial) which has been used for years on manned drones but not yet on commercial passenger flights due to safety certification requirements.
There are major technological advancements in aviation occurring all over the world. Artificial intelligence, machine learning and augmented reality are just some of the emerging technologies that will change the aviation industry as we know it today.
Will advancements in AI make pilots redundant? It is predicted there will be a shortage of 500,000 commercial pilots globally by 2037. In response to this impending crisis, earlier this year Rolls Royce’s Chief Technology Officer announced their plans to introduce an artificially intelligent pilot into service by 2030 – with a target date of 2025 for passenger jets too small to have flight decks. Airbus have also announced they will be introducing flights with only one pilot, and AI.
AI will surely play a huge role in shaping the future of aviation. From intelligent flight control systems to augmented reality for pilots, innovations are bound to keep coming. AI has already brought crucial safety to commercial aircraft by detecting defects on inspections faster than anyone else can.
The future is bright for AI approaches in aviation and we’re only just beginning our exploration into what this technology is capable of doing! Expect plenty more developments coming your way about this very exciting field as research ramps up.