More Mobility Autonomy Mulled

Air Mobility Command is looking at doing more research on adding greater autonomy to its aircraft, said Maj. Gen. Michael Stough, the command’s director of strategic plans, requirements, and programs, on Tuesday. “We think that there’s great promise in autonomy,” he said at AFA’s Air & Space Conference in National Harbor, Md. “I’m not going to say we’re going all the way to unmanned … but these are things we’ve been talking about,” he said. More realistically, there may be “a place in between [unmanned] and a certain level of autonomy,” explained Stough. Having more autonomy onboard could allow AMC “to potentially decrease the number of crew members we have on an airplane,” he said. Or, it could increase the safety of the aircrew and assist them in decision-making, he said. These are just “one of the things we’re looking at,” said Stough.