One of the biggest arguments for adopting self-driving cars is that they'll reduce human error. In theory, that should reduce the number of car crashes and driving fatalities. Some people are applying the same logic to airlines. After all, more than half of plane crashes are a result of human error. So if you remove the humans, wouldn't that be safer?
One reason for keeping pilots, the argument goes, is that in an emergency where the computer goes down a pilot can manually land a plane. However, a recent report from the Department of Transportation suggests that might not be the best argument.
The DOT argues that pilots now rely too much on automated systems and newer pilots don't have the training to fly planes manually. It cites several recent crashes that occurred after pilots had to take manual control of the plane, such as the Asiana Airlines flight 214 crash in July 2013.
The DOT is requesting the Federal Aviation Administration do more to make sure pilots still have the training necessary to fly planes without computer assistance. Whether or not the FAA goes along with it is another matter.
Does this report change your mind about pilotless flights? What steps should the FAA take, if any? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.
Despite the above, flying is still one of the safest ways to travel. It would just be nicer if it were less expensive. Check out these five sites that will find you a great deal the next time you fly.