Thanks to emerging technologies and growing knowledge of digital data collection, we’ve reached a tipping point in the evolution of aviation Information Technology (IT).
If this trend continues to grow over the next couple of decades we’ll see a radical change in the way we travel by air. And it will all be down to new types of Artificial Intelligence (AI) applications.
With airports such as the Kempegowda International Airport in Bangalore planning to use biometric scanners to improve security & airlines such as Vistara using humanoid robots to improve customer experience, we can clearly see that AI is here to stay.
But before we get into how AI has been implemented in the aviation industry and its uses, let us tell you a bit about what exactly Artificial Intelligence is.
What Is Artificial Intelligence?
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a complex digital system which simulates human intelligence processes or in simple terms, human behaviour.
It uses machines and computer systems to acquire information, reach conclusions and solve problems in the way we as humans would do. AI uses technologies such as Big Data, Augmented reality and Virtual Reality to do this.
Although building machines that initiate common sense, reasoning and problem-solving is a difficult and tedious task, the aviation industry is actively exploring and introducing AI technologies in all its sectors.
Future Of AI In Aviation?
Flight disruptions, mainly due to weather, costed the air transportation industry almost $25 Billion last year.
That’s why airlines and airports are looking at technologies to enhance responsiveness during disruptions, improving performance and customer service.
It is predicted that over the next 3 years 80% of the airlines around the world will invest in major Research & Development programs for creating prediction & Warning Systems. These will heavily rely on AI.
The Chatbot is another AI driven technology which is catching up with this industry. Globally, almost 14% of airlines and 9% of airports now use this program.
Aviation authorities all over the world want to embrace chatbots to help customers out. It is predicted that by 2020, 68% of airlines and 42% of airports plan to adopt AI-driven chatbot services.
Chatbots mimic human conversation, they can help with customer queries, perform check-ins and book flights. A machine taking your reservation via voice commands is on the brink of becoming a reality.
3.AI Driven Humanoid Robots
More AI applications will arrive as the popularity of air travel rises. It will help authorities challenge the significant growth in passenger traffic.
Throughout the airport, AI will manage humanoid robots for information and guidance, check-in, immigration, luggage transport duties and a whole lot more around airport operations and security.
Equipped with face recognition, they’ll understand spoken language, print or show information on screens, scan passports and boarding passes, process visas, and show people the way.
4. Automated Airport Operations
Augmented by robots, AI will evolve to support flight operations, facility management, baggage handling and cargo operations.
It will be working behind the scenes to transfer bags/equipment, reassign gates and coordinate with the ground crew to accommodate changes in schedule as well as service interruptions.
What Are The Challenges?
A large amount of data will be in use as the aviation industry embraces AI. This will give rise to data confidentiality risks.
A recent incident happened with Emirates airline where the airline leaked customer data to third parties without authorization.
Customer details such as name, email, itinerary, phone number and even passport number were shared with third-party service providers like Google & Facebook.
Tracking progress is an enormous challenge that airlines will face.
The first thing they need to do is to develop analytics that will help them develop and process accurate data. However, that in itself is a challenge.
For example, customer satisfaction is going to be one of the most important factors in success. What kind of analytics will determine that airlines have been improving on customer satisfaction parameters?
AI needs huge investments and probably the biggest risk in this is that smaller, especially budget airlines may miss out on reaping the benefits of AI fully.
Does that mean that the performance of the smaller carriers will be impacted? That might not be the case, because we might be moving toward more acquisitions and mergers.
Bigger airlines will have a massive appetite for acquiring smaller airlines with an eye on the market.
How Air Travel May Look In The Future?
- Let’s say today is the first day of your vacation, and you’ll be flying somewhere new. AI will do everything for you from the moment you booked your flight. It will select the best flight time, your preferred seat /customized meals, and even get you checked in on your flight.
- Once you arrive at the airport, your AI assistant will suggest you to go to the shortest queue, because it has predicted it is the shortest path with the least congestion. In future airports, there will be very little waiting in lines because AI will predict the movements of each passenger, will optimize the flow and will allocate queues accordingly. There will no longer be a need to arrive at the airport two hours prior.
- At the security check you wont have to spend time waiting in the line. AI will recognize you and confirm your identity with biometric data and face recognition. Since AI will report that there is no suspicious object detected, you will finish your security process within minutes.
- Before you get on the airplane, AI will finish the aircraft diagnosis, weather analysis, predict risk and plan the flight. The accurate scheduled time will be updated in real-time and shared with you directly.
- The airplane will not need to wait on the taxiway for its turn to take off. AI will support individual flights and the entire navigation system. It will support the airplane traffic flow optimally to provide the best route toward your destination.
- Potential risks will be identified and mitigated to avoid unexpected conflict. If a situation arises, it will flexibly be managed through AI to ensure a safe flight.
- You’ll arrive on time and baggage claim, customs or immigration will be handled quickly and smoothly.
- AI will capture data from the journey and the chat-bot from the airline will check in with you to ensure you had a pleasant flight. The AI will then use your response to improve its knowledge for better service.
It sounds a bit like science fiction, but it isn’t. We can’t be sure about all the ways in which AI will impact our lives but what we do know is that it will continue to evolve.
Modern technological innovations in air travel are slowly coming to India and we at AirWhizz are continuously trying to implement it and bring it to you as a passenger. From real-time flight updates to providing information about airports and airlines, we help you plan your air travel all the way.
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