Airbus completes autonomous taxi, take-off and landing project

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Aerospace and defence company Airbus has announced the completion of its Autonomous Taxi, Take-Off and Landing (ATTOL) project.

As part of this project, the company has conducted more than 500 test flight tests, with 450 of these being for the collection of raw video data.

The data was gathered to assist and refine algorithms.

A series of six test flights were performed to test autonomous flight capabilities. Each of the flights comprised five take-offs and landings.

Launched in 2018, the ATTOL project is designed to study the feasibility of enabling aircraft to land automatically solely using on-board technology.

Currently, external infrastructure like Instrument Landing System (ILS) or GPS signals are used for this purpose.

ATTOL aims to use autonomous technologies, including machine learning algorithms and automated tools, for data labelling, processing and model generation to achieve its objective.

With the successful conclusion of this project, Airbus has leveraged fully automatic vision-based flight tests and on-board image recognition technology to enable the autonomous taxiing, take-off and landing of commercial aircraft.

The company intends to continue research into the implementation of autonomous technologies in various areas, including materials, alternative propulsion systems, and connectivity.

In January this year under the ATTOL project, an Airbus A350-1000 test aircraft successfully demonstrated the first fully automatic vision-based take-off at Toulouse-Blagnac Airport in France.

A global team led by Airbus UpNext and consisting of Airbus engineering and technology teams, Airbus Defence and Space, Acubed (Project Wayfinder), Airbus China, and ONERA, took part in the development and demonstration of ATTOL.

Airbus completes autonomous taxi, take-off and landing project