It was little over a week ago that the world watched as six convoys of driverless trucks crossed European border after European border safely â setting a new record in automated driving technology and ear-marking a future horizon for HGV driving. Now, it seems, the air could also be receiving the automated treatment with industry experts meeting to discuss the potential of driverless technology for air cargo later this week.
Top executives from some of UKâs largest air freight and unmanned aircraft industry and major trade organisations are coming together with the hope of pushing forward the reality of driverless cargo planes. In most recent times, weâve seen the rise to prominence of unmanned aircraft, better known as UAVs or drones. With the ability to take flight without someone behind the wheel, drones have the ability to fly in zones in ordinarily off limits owing to safety concerns as well as significantly mitigating the risk to human life by eliminating human involvement. They are thus invaluable for vital infrastructure maintenance and management as well routine maintenance and repair work.
The potential of drones has yet remained limited by the their size. At present, even the most robust drones can only carry a weights up 2.4kg and the aircraft can only fly for limited periods. Air cargo organisations will therefore be looking for a way in which to harness the intelligence of the systems whilst considerably improving their durability over long distances as well the amount theyâre able to convey.
The conference-style debate is sponsored by the National Aeronautical Centre (NAC) and supported by Air Cargo News. By bringing together the UKâs key players and contributors within air freight, organisers hope to identify the requirements of current transport operators and, in turn, find a way in which unmanned technology can provide support. It will thus be pivotal stage in collaboration between the two industries and should speed up the pace at which both innovate.