Fully autonomous passenger planes are inching closer to takeoff

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The world’s biggest commercial aircraft makers seem increasingly convinced that autonomous passenger flight is a question of when, not if. Flying today’s high-tech passenger jets is often a matter of setting up and overseeing their autopilot and other automated systems — but we’re not yet at a point where computer systems can entirely replace human pilots.

“Autonomy is going to come to all of the airplanes eventually,” Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun told Bloomberg TV at an event this week marking the delivery of the last commercial 747. “The future of autonomy is real” for civil aviation, he added.

Boeing rival Airbus, meanwhile, has been testing a suite of advanced autonomous flight systems it’s calling DragonFly.

DragonFly is designed to enable automatic landings in bad weather, handle in-flight emergencies (like an incapacitated human pilot), and ease pilots’ workload while taxiing around complicated airports.

READ MORE: https://www.axios.com/2023/02/03/fully-autonomous-flight-planes