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A look at automatic pilots

In this day and age of advanced technology, automated pilot technology is on the brink of taking over the aviation industry. It isn't uncommon for pilots to switch over to autopilot for a period of time while the plane cruises at a steady altitude during a flight. Now experts are considering removing the human pilot from the picture and using autopilot to fly the plane. Although planes that are piloted using artificial intelligence may eliminate human error, it may also increase the need for litigating cases that involve failed software design, development, manufacture, implementation and utilization.

Airplanes have been piloted by robots and automatic software as far back as 1917. Since then, the development of software and autopilot technology has increased and discussion of developing a mainstream, pilotless commercial aircraft has taken place. In order to accomplish this, however, engineers must look at all factors in the flying process, including airplane design, technology, meteorology and human factors required to fly the plane. Artificial intelligence would allow the plane to take off without the use of vehicles, control altitude and engine performance, as well as land using an algorithm that adjusts to wind, rain and other weather conditions.

When traveling on a commercial airplane, passengers should feel safe and rest assured that they will get to their destination. Those who have been injured or have lost a loved one in an airplane accident may want to contact an attorney regarding their rights and legal options.

Source: Lexology, "Cleared for take-off: Autonomous technology and aviation litigation," Borden Ladner Gervais, Aug. 22, 2018.

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