Every year, nearly half of the global population will hop in a plane to catch a flight. As more people than ever are connected with the help of the aviation industry, there are some interesting changes to come in the next few years. The way that we fly and the things that fly in the air are going to change drastically, having an impact on our daily lives.
Here are four ways the aviation industry is going to change in the next year and beyond.
Unmanned aerial vehicles, aka drones, are going to change the way we see air-based journeys. While they might not be able to carry people yet, they’re already starting to be able to carry loads. Once they’re able to transport things from point A to point B, the whole aviation industry will change.
First off, the lobbying is going to be so powerful that the FAA is going to have to change the way they track flights. It’s going to be essential to the industry for there to be ways for commercial vehicles to travel without interfering with flight paths. There might have to be new flight paths charted around existing transportation lines.
Additionally, with major aviation manufacturers sure to want their piece of the pie, the drone industry is going to be overrun by big companies. That means drone technology will accelerate, there will be more consumer options, and the quality will be more reliable. Since companies are going to be held liable for the products and materials they’re transporting, they’re going to take greater efforts to make drones safe.
While drones are mostly an item for hobbyists now, delivery companies and online marketplaces are flirting with drones. With more drones in the air, we’ll need regulations and laws to keep them from leading to problems.
In the future of the transportation industry, we’re going to see the use of artificial intelligence and robotics everywhere. With the speed that self-driving cars are starting to develop, self-flying drones and planes are going to move out of science fiction and into science fact. They’ll have a huge impact on how people access transportation and who has the ability to travel.
When the costs of labor are taken out of the equation, more people are going to have access to flight travel.
Robotics is going to change everything from the check-in process to the way that people wait to board planes. The waiting times for security are sure to drop as AI and robotics take up space in the industry. On top of that, we’ll find that everything on planes will be automated.
This is sure to cause growing pains and frustrations as we learn to adjust. However, it’ll take the load off of workers and make it much easier for people to get on and off of planes. This will speed up flights and lead to fewer delays.
For insight into how analytics have been used historically, check out this list of airplane facts.
As the industry becomes more heavily reliant on automation and data, there’s set to be an increase in the concerns about cybersecurity. While most of the cybersecurity concerns raised from industries have to do with consumer data, cybersecurity issues in aviation are more serious. If flight data is manipulated or controlled by the wrong people, it could cause crashes or planes to fly off course.
With concerns about terrorism growing all around the world, cybersecurity is one spot where the terrorism conversation must be had in aviation. As hackers get smarter and more sophisticated, security experts can barely keep up.
Defending against hackers and data manipulation is going to be a serious concern as more data is stored online. While many of the old systems are based on old technology that contemporary hackers don’t understand, they’ll need to be updated. When they’re updated, this information needs to be protected from nefarious actors.
While most hacks cost companies money or cost people their jobs, a hack of a flight system could cost lives. We’ll see more intense cybersecurity measures and innovation coming out of this industry soon.
While most of the ways that the industry is changing won’t impact the typical day-to-day traveler, there are sure to be changes that impact the consumer. One is going to be the way that flyers experience in-flight services, entertainment, and refreshments.
One of the big ways is how personal devices can assist in making the transition from ground transport to the airport to the plane as seamless as possible. Aviation companies are going to focus on how to personalize the relationship between passengers and the flying experience. There’s going to be instant access to services and a wider choice of entertainment.
More passengers expect free Wi-Fi and inflight entertainment on their personal devices. Even though this was a heavy lift up front for the software developers working for aviation companies, it’s now become a standard. Where just a few years ago, passengers watched old VHS tapes, recent television programs and hit movies are available on flights as soon as they’re released.
As car services, food delivery, and other services become personalized via personal devices, so will the flight experience. Expect to be able to order food and drink in advance as well as to move your seat around with the help of integrated apps.
If you haven’t been paying attention to what’s happening in the aviation industry, you’ll be surprised by how much mobile devices have had an impact. From how we enjoy flights to how we check in, our relationship to technology is causing the industry to have to play catch up. We’ll even see changes related to climate change as we face the facts of how much we rely on fossil fuels to travel.
Check out our latest coverage for how climate change is impacting the global economy.