The Wall Street Journal reports that Airbus is planning on turning the controls of its planes over to
friendly onboard computer copilots in case of emergencies like an impending midair collision. Currently, pilots are trained to turn off the autopilot when they encounter an emergency and maneuver the plane to safety themselves. But Airbus thinks that pilots sometimes overreact in such situations, unneccessarily shaking up the passengers (at best). The company plans to install the system on its A380 jet as early as next year and eventually install them on all their aircraft. Pilots, not suprisingly, are none too pleased with the move; Air Line Pilots Association safety offical Larry Newman says it's leading to pilots getting further and further away from the process of responding to emergencies themselves (well duh). Not to mention the whole, you know, robots making decisions that could directly affect hundreds or thousands of human lives
thing. For its part, Boeing has said it will continue to rely on human pilots in case of emergencies.