Autonomous flying


The concept of autonomous flying, particularly related to flying cars and drones, is a topic explored in detail by Lex Fridman and his guests on his podcast.

  1. Feasibility of Flying Cars: Lex Fridman discussed with on how flying cars could utilize the underused airspace that's higher than where stones can be thrown and lower than where large aircraft fly. However, building complex software and ensuring safety via autonomy are major challenges. Machine learning may play a significant role in delivering intelligent vehicles, although the safe part of the equation remains complex 1.

  2. Autonomous Flight Safety: In another discussion with , the safety advancements in autonomous flight were highlighted, including systems like Autogas, an autonomous ground collision avoidance system that has saved multiple aircraft and pilots. These systems show the life-saving potential of autonomy in today's world 2.

  3. Optimal Piloting: The term "optimal piloting" was discussed with , referring to an FAA-certified system capable of different levels of autonomy, from fully piloted to completely autonomous, adaptable to the situation. This level of adaptability can have significant commercial and military benefits 3.

    Feasibility of Flying Cars

    Sertac discusses the feasibility of flying cars in the agile airspace, which is underutilized and low enough to avoid large aircraft. He believes that building complex software and ensuring safety will be the biggest challenges, and machine learning will be key to delivering intelligent vehicles in the future.

    Lex Fridman Podcast

    Sertac Karaman: Robots That Fly and Robots That Drive | Lex Fridman Podcast #97
  4. Autonomous Driving vs. Flight: compared the challenges of autonomous driving and flight, noting that while flying has the advantage of preprogrammed safe trajectories, it also involves complex three-dimensional modeling and aerodynamics issues. The potential for last-mile delivery using drones in remote areas shows promise, although economic challenges and battery technology limitations remain 4.

These discussions underline the complexity and the potential of autonomous flying, emphasizing both the technological advancements and the challenges yet to be overcome.