It’s safe to say that when you’re flying, the last thing you want when you’re rocketing 30,000 feet above the ground is a lazy pilot. But that’s exactly what this new technology could create.
This week, Belgian display technology company, Barco, is showing off a new multi-screen controller for the cockpit at the UK’s Farnborough International Air Show. Pilots will be able to use the device to change the plane’s trajectory with a sweep of a finger, like you’re reading a book on an iPad.
The company’s products manager for avionics, Brecht Baert, says, “Having this capability in the display, we allow the creation of [a] simpler HMI (human machine interaction). So [we’re] reducing the pilot workload, [by] making the operation of the cockpit more intuitive.”
Intuitive, yes. But it’s tough to shake the image of a pilot taking a five-minute catnap once he or she inputs the new coordinates.
The situation is especially scary now that investigators have discovered that “faulty sensors and mistakes by inadequately trained pilots caused” the Air France plane to crash into the Atlantic Ocean in 2009, Fox News says. As a result, they’re “urging better instruction for pilots on flying manually at high altitudes.”
But it looks like the speed of innovation might make pilots a bit rusty at manual operation instead. Be afraid.