Reliable Robotics completed a series of remotely piloted test flights directed by a pilot stationed in a Control Center located more than fifty miles away. The pilot instructed an upgraded Cessna 208 Caravan to taxi, takeoff, maneuver over a populated area and land while communicating with nearby air traffic via the aircraft’s onboard radios. The company, a pioneer in the development of autonomous aircraft systems, aspires to be the first to bring automated air transportation. The flights represent a significant step forward for remotely piloted commercial aircraft.
The test flights are piloted by a remote pilot seated in the Control Center, while onboard safety pilot monitors flight performance in real time. Data and experience gained during each flight inform about engineering decisions, support operational design within the workspace, and aid in the testing and improvement of onboard control systems in the future. With the help of regulatory oversight and experimental approval Reliable Robotics plans incremental certification with gradually increasing autonomy thus demonstrating viability of autonomous planes for cargo industry.