While pilotless planes could save airlines billions of euro a year and could even lead to substantial fare cuts, would passengers really get on board with the idea?
Autopilot is a common feature on commercial airlines, however, there is always a fully trained pilot on hand in case there is any issues with technology or a situation requires a human touch.
According to a new report by investment bank UBS, they predict that full-size cargo planes will be airborne without pilots by 2025, but passengers won’t feel confident boarding pilotless planes until the middle of the century.
More than half of 8,000 people surveyed by UBS said they wouldn’t travel on a pilotless plane, even if the fares were heavily reduced.
However, younger people were more likely to agree to fly on the pilotless plane, something the report feels bodes well for technology “as the population ages”:
“Some 54% of respondents said they were unlikely to take a pilotless flight, while only 17% said they would likely undertake a pilotless flight.
Perhaps surprisingly, half of the respondents said that they would not buy the pilotless flight ticket even if it was cheaper.”