Many car manufacturers are testing fully Autonomous vehicle management. But when it comes to aircraft, the functionality of the autopilot used in aviation is not the first decade, is severely limited. Soon the situation may change — technology C2Land, able to land the aircraft without human intervention, has already passed the first tests.
A team of scientists from the Munich technical University has completed the initial phase of the C2Land project, which is developing a system capable of landing the aircraft without the participation of the pilot. According to the developers, the unique technology will be an alternative to traditional methods of automatic piloting.
For effective autopilot operation, modern Instrument Landing System (ILS) systems require multiple antennas on the take-off field. Numerous small airports do not have access to expensive technologies, so pilots still have to manage the landing manually. Given the fact that most of the plane crashes occurs during takeoff and landing, this situation requires special attention.
Unlike existing technologies, C2Land allows landing on almost any runway using GPS signals and an optical orientation system — it does not need a ground support infrastructure. The optical orientation system registers atmospheric disturbances that other similar technologies are not able to take into account, and GPS positioning ensures the accuracy of the landing.
The test flight of the training aircraft Diamond DA42 using C2Land was successful, but the date of the beginning of the introduction of technology in serial Airliners is still unknown.