However, Airbus’s announcement about the ATTOL project wasn’t about emissions. Instead, it was about exploring autonomous aircraft, and whether they may be possible in the future of aviation. While the technology may seem a long way off, Airbus appears to have made progress in its study.
Airbus’ technology uses video systems to automate the aircraft using the system. As is hinted to in the name, the autonomous system manages three different phases of flight. Like rules mandating wearing a seatbelt, the system can be used during taxi, takeoff, and landing.
Airbus operated over 500 flights as part of its trial into the technology. 450 of these flights were used to gather video data and to calibrate and fine-tune Airbus’ algorithm. A further six flights were solely devoted to testing the takeoff and landing capabilities of the system, with five takeoffs and landings taking place during each trip.