Voice controlled aircraft in the works
Voice control has already appeared on the GPS navigation system front, but now such technology has been successfully tested on a UK Army Air Corps Gazelle helicopter, enabling pilots to control aircraft systems by simply barking out comments. It leads me to think though, what happens in an emergency when there are a few crew members or give conflicting commands to the voice recognition system – or will the system automatically switch to a manual override under such trying circumstances? More about this new voice controlled aircraft system after the jump.
It was realized that pilots spent way too much of their time staring inside the cockpit, and this problem was not helped in any way whatsoever by the complex, multi-function displays that are found in many an aircraft. QinetiQ’s Direct Voice Input (DVI) system uses speech recognition technology in order to facilitate and direct avionics equipment via direct voice control using ordinary aircrew helmet microphones and intercom. Since this system is speaker independent, there is no need to train it beforehand in order to recognize the pilot flying that aircraft, offering unprecedented flexibility to the aircrew without the need to remove their hands from flight controls or being distracted by matters happening outside simply be barking out commands.
QinetiQ’s system can be said to be a much more useful tool for single pilot operations since he or she will be able to handle more with less. According to Tony Wall, Managing Director of QinetiQ’s Air Division , he said, “Voice recognition systems normally struggle with the high noise levels experienced in helicopters and need to be calibrated to recognise the speech patterns of individual users. These recent trials demonstrate that QinetiQ’s DVI technology overcomes both of these shortfalls and enhances aircraft safety by maximizing a pilot’s ‘head out’ time.”