top of page

Would You Board a Pilotless Plane?

This summer Boeing Co will begin test simulations for an autonomous plane. (See the Reuter's report here: This new feature would help alleviate the shortage of 1.5 million pilots predicted in the next twenty years, but is this a realistic alternative?

If Boeing manages to formulate the necessary technology, they will have a whole new hurdle to face: the public. The truth of the matter is that even regular flyers may be skeptical of artificial intelligence making what could be life or death decisions.

As humans, we always want to be in control, but this is not always possible. Sometimes we have to rely on other people who are more experienced than us, like a doctor, a lawyer, a friend, or yes, a pilot. We are able to do this by forming a trust relationship with this person upon whom we depend. It's much harder to bond with machinery, no matter how sophisticated the technology is.

We are already seeing technology take significant strides in replacing humans in the workforce, from waiters to accountants, but humans still have the upper hand in the formation of trust. That's why, to avoid being replaced, we need to place more emphasis on building trust in our business relationships. The most successful professionals of the future will be those who can add an experience to their services beyond what a machine is capable of doing.

The technology for pilotless planes is almost here. Jetliners can already lift off, cruise and land using in flight computers. Basic drones can already determine flight path. Boeing assures us that it will never use an autonomous plane unless they were confidant in its abilities.

Is there anything missing, or could you board a pilotless plane?

bottom of page