FAA approves Reliable Robotics plan to test and certify fully automated aircraft systems

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has authorised Reliable Robotics to proceed with its plan to test and certify fully automated aircraft systems, says the company press release.

“We’re three to four years out from being able to remotely operate these aircraft at any kind of reasonable scale,” said Robert Rose, co-founder and chief executive of the Mountain View, California-based company which aims to license its autonomous flight system to other companies.

He said he expects to see Reliable’s automated systems installed on passenger aircraft by the end of the decade, capping a decade’s worth of testing and certification.

The U.S. Department of Defense, which is a development partner, is interested in installing Reliable’s software and hardware on the workhorse KC-135, a four-engine military companion to the Boeing 707 that dates to the late 1950s and is still used for refueling and cargo transport. NASA is also working with Reliable systems engineers on advanced air mobility research, and said test data will be used to evaluate flight path procedures for future aircraft.

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