FAA accepts Reliable Robotics plan to certify autonomous cargo aircraft


The FAA has accepted autonomous aviation company Reliable Robotics’ certification plan.

California, USA-based Reliable Robotics is developing automated cargo aircraft to increase safety, improve efficiency and open up more routes to regional airports. The company is developing a certifiable system that enables continuous autopilot engagement through all phases of flight, including taxi, takeoff and landing with a remote pilot supervising operations.

Eric Schulz, former Rolls-Royce and Airbus executive and a strategic advisor to Reliable Robotics said, “Reliable is the only company that has reached this critical point, positioning them as the clear front-runner in the FAA certification process for autonomous aircraft

“Reliable’s automation system will make aviation even safer and provide more affordable air transportation for cargo and passengers anytime, anywhere.”

The basis for Reliable’s certification plan was agreed by the FAA last August.

The certification plan uses existing regulations for normal and transport category aircraft, and does not require any special conditions or exemptions.

Juerg Frefel, co-founder and chief technical officer of Reliable Robotics said, “This agreement concludes many years of effort with the FAA to rigorously determine how autonomous systems will be integrated into aircraft.

“Working within current rules enables us–and the FAA–to move faster and continue to improve the high levels of safety we have come to expect in aviation.”

Reliable’s autonomous aircraft system was recently demonstrated as part of US Air Force and NASA flight test campaigns, includes technologies that will prevent aviation accidents and improve operational efficiency. High integrity navigation systems make it possible to safely fly in lower visibility weather conditions without costly ground infrastructure. An “always on” autopilot also enables any aircraft to be remotely piloted with continuous engagement from departure gate to arrival gate.

Robert Rose, co-founder and CEO at Reliable Robotics said, “Autonomy can and will be certified in the very near future, and this milestone is evidence that the United States and the FAA is going to be leading the way.”

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