Smoove_B wrote: ↑
Tue Mar 12, 2019 8:26 pm
My cousin is a licensed commercial pilot that now specializes in accident investigation claims for an insurance company. When we talk about flying (quite regularly, actually) he's quick to point out that planes are mostly autonomous now. Everyone marvels at the idea of a self-driving car, but planes already do it (and have been for some time). In his experience, when there are catastrophic failures on aircraft, it's because there has been a system malfunction that requires the pilot or flight crew to (1) quickly recognize something is wrong and then (2) respond by manually taking over and correcting the problem. His experience once again is that because planes are now so highly autonomous, pilots have lost the ability to do the first or second thing - they're rusty. He also pointed out this will likely be the inevitable conclusion for self-driving cars. As we start to rely on them more, when they need us to take over, we won't be ready. The difference is a matter of scale.
So it's not that Trump is wrong, but as usual he's not understanding the whole picture.
While cars are planar and planes are 3 dimensional, the amount of data needed to keep cars driving autonomously in traffic has got to be exponentially higher than airplanes, which are mostly staying level, then descending at a fixed rate once put on the correct approach (not sure if the approach is automated or not). Because planes have such simplistic movements, with a 3rd party monitoring it and every other plane around it, not to mention anything radar sees in the air is important, while the ground is covered in useless objects that aren't important but register anyway, eating up processing.
Once we have dog fighting automated drones (yes, I realize a buttload of a modern fighter is computerized and/or software run), then I'll concede the comparison. Or once we have successfully moved to the majority of land vehicles being automated. Right now, it's still not a reasonable comparison. Highly autonomous planes are the equivalent of cruise control and automated 3 point parking cars. If there were 2 lane roads in the air barely the width of the plane with another one going in the opposite direction with only a few meters between their wings touching, while flying at identical height, with hundreds of planes on the same plane and same road, maybe. Having the tower tell the plane to "fly in a circle here" is hardly awesome automation, in this context.
But don't get me wrong, computer controlled planes are awesome, and self driving cars are getting awesome. It's pretty much science fiction for my childhood me.