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FAA approves Reliable Robotics’ autonomous flight certification plan

Reliable Robotics, a developer of safety-enhancing aircraft automation systems, says its certification plan has been formally accepted by the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

The Reliable autonomous flight system enables continuous autopilot engagement through all phases of aircraft operation including taxi, takeoff and landing.

This landmark achievement marks unrivaled progress towards the certification of fully automated aircraft.

Eric Schulz, former Rolls-Royce and Airbus executive, says: “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.”

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

Juerg Frefel, co-founder and CTO of Reliable Robotics, says: “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, recently demonstrated as part of US Air Force and NASA flight test campaigns, includes key technologies that will prevent common causes of 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, says: “We are incredibly grateful to our FAA partners for their engagement and thorough review of this system, and are excited about the safety benefits this technology will bring to aviation.

“Autonomy can and will be certified in the very near future, and this milestone is evidence that the United States and the FAA are going to be leading the way.”

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