We Might Soon Fly In Pilotless Planes & That's Kind Of Scary

Photo: Courtesy of Boeing.
We know what you're probably thinking: Hell to the no. We can't blame you; it sounds like something out of a sci-fi novel that imagines a bleak future for humanity.
But it's happening: Boeing is trying to make self-flying planes a reality.
Planes are already able to take off, cruise, and land using their onboard flight computers. And airlines have a projected need for 1.5 million pilots in the next 20 years, according to Reuters.
Boeing plans to start testing some of the technology next year, Mike Sinnett, the company's vice president of product development, announced in a briefing ahead of the Paris Air Show, which will take place later this month.
Sinnett, who himself is a pilot, wants to test out the technology in a cockpit simulator this summer and "fly on an airplane next year [with] some artificial intelligence that makes decisions that pilots would make."
But he said he's not yet sure how self-flying aircraft would meet the safety standards of the airline industry. "I have no idea how we're going to do that," Sinnett said. "But we're studying it right now and we're developing those algorithms."
Plus, there's public opinion to get around. When an @TODAYshow Twitter survey asked, "Would you board a self-flying plane?" responses weren't exactly favorable. In the poll, 85% said no, and only 15% said yes.

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