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Old 16 January 2018, 08:40 PM
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ganzfeld ganzfeld is offline
Join Date: 05 September 2005
Location: Kyoto, Japan
Posts: 23,715

Stick or no stick, the differences between any car in the next few decades and so-called glass cockpits in planes are staggering. (Yet another reason using terms like "Autopilot" is a very bad idea.) For starters: Their flight paths are much much much more defined and quantified and have been for more than half a century. Their paths have far far fewer things to hit or be hit by (or even to otherwise change much with the large exception of weather). They are surrounded on the outside by instrumenent landing support infrastructure that has taken decades to develop, costs billions of dollars, and is set up for the very specific flight paths mentioned. They are piloted by people who have many many hours of training to learn to use each specific glass cockpit. They are surrounded on the outside by a huge team of flight controllers who are similarly trained on the whole infrastructure providing support at every critical stage. All of this requires, of course, very expensive and spohisticated equipment on the plane itself, communication between these teams, etc...

If you did all of that for a car, it almost certainly still wouldn't be as safe as our commercial airline systems but it could be much safer than an ordinary automobile. The systems that are now being developed are not that kind of elaborate, expensive automated highway, designed to be used in only very clearly defined paths, with highly skilled operators and sophisticated equipment at every stage outside and inside the vehicles. There's really no comparison.
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