Can a vision-based AI flight control replace pilots?
Can a vision-based AI flight control replace pilots?
( Source: Public Domain / Unsplash)

AI in the air

Cooperation for the development of vision-based flight control for general aviation and eVTOL

| Author: Florian Richert

The Fortune 100 technology company Honeywell will cooperate with the Swiss software start-up Daedalean in the development of a fully autonomous AI pilot system.

Honeywell and Daedalean have agreed to work collaboratively on the development and testing of a fully autonomous AI pilot system. The system will enable eVTOLs to take off and land autonomously, navigate during flight GPS-independently and prevent collisions. In addition to the cooperation, Honeywell has joined the pool of investors.

AI replacing human Pilots

A team of former Google and SpaceX engineers teamed up in 2016 to form Daedalean, and by October 2019 the team had grown to 30 software developers, avionics specialists, and pilots. Daedalean's goal is to define, develop, test and certify a fully autonomous sensor and autopilot system to completely replace the human pilot. Cooperation with aerospace companies to test the systems to achieve airworthiness certification is key to the development. Together with EASA Daedalean develops concepts for design assurance for neural networks in an innovation partnership agreement.
“Developing flight control software requires lots of flight data,” noted Luuk van Dijk, founder, and CEO of Daedalean. “That’s why collaboration with prominent industry partners such as Honeywell is critical for us to speed up the development of our technology. We are preparing for the joint flights testing our solutions for various types of aircraft, and excited to carry out trials on the planes we haven't tried before.”

Daedalean's innovative systems can be used to optimize classic cockpit instruments such as collision avoidance systems, flight controllers and autopilots. The systems can process visual images similar to human-like situational awareness, thus optimizing flight operations and freeing pilots for safety-critical supervision.

About the author