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Autonomous planes could be in the air by 2025

Autonomous planes could be in the air by 2025

Autonomous planes could hit the skies by 2025.

A report by financial services company UBS claims pilotless airplanes could be ferrying passengers around in less then a decade's time.

In their report released this week, they wrote: "Pilotless planes are technically feasible, and could bring material benefits UBS analysis of the Aerospace, Airlines and Logistics sectors suggests that reducing the intervention of human pilots on aircraft could bring material economic benefits and improve safety.

"Technically speaking, remotely controlled planes carrying passengers and cargo could appear by c2025. Further technological progress could lead to a root change in the piloting skillset, making training and the in-flight workload simpler. Last week, Boeing announced that it would step into avionics to make aircraft controls and electronics, underpinning our view on that market's appeal."

And the report insists it could save the industry a lot of money including more than $26 billion in pilot costs.

They added: "Meaningful savings can be generated via mission optimisation, greater predictability, and reduced flight crew and training costs.

"We think the aerospace suppliers, OEMs and commercial airlines would retain some of the considerable benefit: (1) more than $26bn in pilot cost savings for the airlines under UBS coverage, up to $3bn in pilot savings for the business jet industry, and $2.1bn for civil helicopters; (2) flight optimisation savings could be significant, e.g. over $1bn, at 1% of global airlines' $133bn 2016 fuel bill; (3) more than $3bn/year in savings from lower insurance premiums (safer flights) and pilot training costs; and (4) a revenue opportunity from increased utilisation rates (cargo and commercial)."

However, it did outline that the uptake of pilotless planes may take a little longer.

They wrote: "The regulatory framework will define the waves of technology advancements becoming reality and cargo will likely be at the forefront.

"Consumer perception could also be a headwind - 54% of respondents to our UBS Evidence Lab survey of c8,000 people would be unlikely to take a pilotless flight, while only 17% of respondents saying they would do so.

"Younger respondents (aged 18-34), however, were found to be more willing to fly on a pilotless plane (30%), and acceptance should grow with time."

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