Fast Company, a business magazine that focuses on innovation in technology and design, has recognised Garmin as a finalist for the development of Autoland as part of its 2020 World Changing Ideas Awards. Autoland autonomous flight technology revolutionised the aviation industry when it was announced late last year, as the first system for general aviation aircraft designed to land an aircraft when the pilot cannot. Among some 3,000 entries, the largest number the award programme has ever received to date, Garmin Autoland was chosen as a finalist in the Transportation category and selected as an honourable mention in the all-encompassing Best World Changing Idea Award in North America. The list of winners and honourees was announced by Fast Company last week across 20 different categories that highlighted innovative and inspiring technological solutions that are capable of transforming the world.
“We are truly honoured and proud to be selected by Fast Company and its editors, along with a list of venerable judges, for our commitment to innovate within the aviation industry,” says Phil Straub, Garmin executive vice president and managing director of aviation. “This recognition is representative of the hard work and dedication of the entire Garmin team, who challenged conventional ideas that led to the development of the world’s first Autoland system in general aviation aircraft. Congratulations to everyone at Garmin who contributed to one of the most significant achievements in aviation history.”
Garmin Autoland is available as part of the G3000 integrated flight deck on select general aviation aircraft. In the event of an emergency, Autoland is capable of completely taking control of the aircraft and landing at the nearest, most suitable airport without human intervention. Elements taken into consideration when identifying the most suitable airport include a wide range of performance, operational and environmental factors. Throughout an Autoland activation, the system provides simple visual and verbal communications in plain-language so passengers in the aircraft know what to expect. Even further, the system will automatically communicate with air traffic control (ATC), advising controllers and pilots operating near the aircraft of its location and its intentions.
On approach to land, the system initiates a controlled descent to the airport. Once in landing configuration, the aircraft begins its descent to the runway. On the runway, automatic braking is applied while tracking the runway centreline to bring the aircraft to a full stop. Engine shutdown is also automated so occupants can safely exit the aircraft.
Autoland will soon be available with the G3000 integrated flight deck on the Piper M600, Cirrus Vision Jet and the Daher TBM 940 pending Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) certification.