Following an extensive two-year flight test programme, Airbus has successfully concluded its Autonomous Taxi, Take-Off and Landing (ATTOL) project. The project saw one of its jets perform normally pilot-flown maneuvers entirely on its own. The A350-1000 XWB acted as the testbed for the project through fully automatic vision-based flight tests using on-board image recognition technology – a world-first in aviation.
In total, over 500 test flights were conducted. Approximately 450 of those flights were dedicated to gathering raw video data, to support and fine tune algorithms, while a series of six test flights, each one including five take-offs and landings per run, were used to test autonomous flight capabilities.