According to VergeAirbus is testing new self-driving technology that the company says will improve flight safety and efficiency. Airbus’ self-driving technology, called DragonFly, includes “automatic emergency diversion in cruise mode, automatic landing and ground assistance.”
The term Dragonfly refers to a dragonfly, and Airbus says the technology is trying to mimic a dragonfly’s ability to identify specific areas. The main goal is for the plane to be able to move automatically on the ground before take-off and manage incidents when the flight crew is in trouble. Aircraft equipped with Dragonfly will also be able to automatically take off or land on the ground.
Airbus is currently testing self-driving technology on the A350-1000 at Toulouse-Blagnac Airport. This airport is the place to test the new capabilities of Airbus planes. Airbus is testing self-driving technology through Airbuds UpNext, a subsidiary of the parent company. Airbus says that thanks to Dragonfly, the aircraft can identify the characteristics of landing zones and maneuver around them in a safe manner.
During the recent tests, the Airbus A350-1000 was able to recognize different flight areas and weather conditions and react according to the conditions. Due to the unfavorable weather conditions, the aircraft was able to make a new flight path and provide new information to the air traffic control team and other airport operators. The whole process was done automatically.
Using the data from these tests, Airbus is trying to prepare the next generation of computer vision-based algorithms for use in airplanes. Probably, in the near future, we will see the production of new planes that have much more automatic capabilities than before.