FOR TECH WORLD, IT’S AN AVIATION LOVE STORY
Silicon Valley has long been infatuated with aviation. But rapid advances in technology that appear likely to usher in pilotless passenger-carrying aircraft are turning an interest among tech entrepreneurs into a seeming obsession.
At the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) Xponential show, held May 8–11 in Dallas, the tech world’s heaviest hitters, from Intel CEO Brian Krzanich to Uber aviation guru Mark Moore, predicted that the oncoming era of driverless cars will undoubtedly include fully autonomous aircraft as well. The FAA says bring it. “It wasn’t that long ago that we were talking about how drones might be used for aerial photography or package delivery,” said FAA administrator Michael Huerta. “Now, we’re having very intense and very real conversations about a day in the not-that-distant future when a drone taxi might lift you above the rushhour traffic in a dense metropolitan area and make sure you get to that meeting across town on time.”
That’s fine, but we have one request: Make sure tomorrow’s autonomous aircraft are “optionally piloted” so that we can remain in control if we choose.