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The thought of a pilotless airplane, like Google’s driverless car, may initially leave people feeling uneasy. This is despite the fact that the Google car has already successfully driven a half million miles without a driver.

So would you trust this process? Shouldn’t there be some things that should just be left to humans?

In a recent discussion on Quora, a frequent flier brought up several points why an automated pilot may be safer. Here are a few of the reasons:

  • We already know that there are visibility conditions where planes cannot land by sight, but planes are allowed to do instrument landings.
  • There’s no guarantee that I get Captain Sully on my flight. I could get the guy (like on Asiana) who was landing this plane for the first time at this airport.
  • A lot of flying is routine. Computers perform routine tasks better than humans. There are corner cases where humans could perform better. But that means I’d be betting on me being in a corner case. And for automated flights to be offered, presumably more of the corner cases would be solved.
  • Computers don’t get tired or drunk or distracted.
  • Computers don’t have egos. If the situation calls for a go-around, they aren’t going to push forward anyway.

What does this have to do with smart manufacturing? 

Like flying, manufacturing has been done one way for several decades, so we assume it will be done in the same way for all time. But once we examine a new technological-driven solution, we realize there could be a more efficient, cost-effective and above all SAFER way of doing things for everyone.

Will you be boarding a plane without a pilot in the future?

Photo by epSos.de.