Journey by air has made life easier for people around the world. It saves a lot of time. But just like any other mode of transportation, air journey has its set of risks.
‘Plane crash’ is something that can scare the hell out of anybody. Many things can go wrong and among those many things is a pilot suffering a sudden medical emergency. The pilot himself has access to the aircraft parachute which allows them to eject and float to the ground. But in medical emergencies he wouldn’t be able to do that. So even if the lives of the passengers are saved somehow, he/she won’t be able to save his/her own.
To find a solution to this, a firm called Diamond Aircraft has created an autonomous piloting system that can identify situations of emergency and land planes safely at the nearest airport. Taking inspiration from self-driving cars and the existing airplane technology, the firm has actually succeeded in designing a system that can land the plane autonomously. The plane’s onboard software can detect a problem in the cockpit based on standard procedures, so if a pilot doesn’t take the necessary steps to initiate the airplane’s descent and landing sequence, the system solicits a response. If the pilot doesn’t respond within a certain time, the autopilot takes over control of the plane in order to fly it to the closest airport and safely land the plane. The navigation system can even make assessments about airports that are close by to determine which one will be able to provide staff assistance for the pilot. The firm has already succeeded in safely landing a plane without assistance. So the next time you sit in one of their planes, you are sure to feel much safer.