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Towards a world of more autonomous air travel

Autonomous technologies have the potential to deliver increased fuel savings, provide a solution to pilot shortages and reduce the operating costs of airlines. By developing a range of cutting-edge future technology in autonomy, Airbus is working towards a world of self-piloting urban air mobility vehicles and cargo drones, and more autonomous commercial aircraft.

Optimising human-machine interaction

For autonomous technologies to improve overall flight performance, pilots must always remain at the heart of operations. At Airbus, we believe autonomous technologies are critical to supporting pilots, enabling them to focus less on aircraft operation and more on strategic decision-making and mission management.




The Autonomous Taxi, Take-off and Landing (ATTOL) project works to leverage computer vision technologies and techniques to enable commercial aircraft to navigate and detect obstacles during taxi, take off, approach and landing. Autonomous flight tests are expected in mid-2020.

Automatic Formation Flight

Automatic Formation Flight

The Automated Formation Flight project is working to enable aircraft to surf the upwash of air created by another aircraft’s aerodynamic vortex. The aim is to demonstrate significant fuel savings in airline operations. The next flight tests will take place by mid-2020.



This enhanced, multi-crew operation enables the crew to better organise resource management during cruise mode, thereby optimising the balance between working and resting time. The result is more emphasis on fatigue management for pilots on long-range flights.

DISCO cockpit interior

Disruptive Cockpit (DISCO)

This enhanced cockpit is designed to enable single-pilot operations for new aircraft.

Skyways, Airbus’ unmanned aerial vehicle designed for autonomous parcel deliveries, made its first flight demonstration today, validating its automatic loading and unloading capabilities


This Singapore-based pilot project aims to develop an unmanned airborne infrastructure solution for drones in large urban and maritime environments.

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This A³ by Airbus project builds scalable, certifiable autonomy systems that power self-piloted aircraft applications throughout Airbus, from small urban aerial vehicles to large commercial aircraft.

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