Every time we board a plane, we are boarding a drone. It’s now possible for airplanes to taxi, take off, fly and land all without the help of human hands. At the Wired Business Conference, Missy Cummings, an associate professor in aeronautics and astronautics at MIT, talked about how radically different the life of a fighter and commercial pilot has become. And she should know: Cummings was one of the Navy’s first female fighter pilots.
So automated has flying become that the FAA is now worried that pilots are spending too much of their time surfing the web, tweeting and sleeping. Cummings was so bored (or saw how bored she would become) that she changed careers.
In her presentation, Cumminings touched upon other drones. In about three years, many farms in the United States will turn to robotic tractors and drone crop dusters.