Garmin International's Autoland system has been selected as a 2020 Robert J. Collier Trophy finalist by the National Aeronautic Association (NAA). For over a century, the Collier Trophy has been the benchmark of aerospace achievement and is awarded annually to recognise ‘the greatest achievement in aeronautics or astronautics in America’. Part of the Garmin Autonomi family of autonomous safety-enhancing technologies, Autoland is the world's first certified system of its kind with the ability to activate during an emergency situation to autonomously control and land an aircraft without human intervention.
“We are extremely honoured and proud that Autoland has been selected as a finalist for the renowned Robert J. Collier Trophy,” says Phil Straub, Garmin executive VP and MD of aviation. “The extensive history of this award has recognised some of the most impactful achievements in aviation, and we are humbled to have Autoland considered among them. Being chosen as a finalist for the greatest aerospace achievement of 2020 would not be possible without the steadfast dedication of the Garmin team, as well as Piper, Daher and Cirrus, in addition to the regulatory agencies working closely with us to bring this potential life-saving technology to market.”
In the event of an emergency such as pilot incapacitation, a passenger can activate Autoland to land the aircraft with a press of a dedicated button, should the pilot no longer be able to perform their duties in command. Autoland can also activate automatically if the system detects no pilot interaction. Once activated, the system immediately calculates a flight path to the most suitable airport and runway, while avoiding terrain and adverse weather, initiates a stabilised approach and automatically lands the aircraft.
Piper Aircraft received the first FAA type certification of Garmin Autoland on the G3000 equipped M600 SLS in May 2020. In July 2020 Daher completed the first EASA certification and the second FAA certification of Autoland on the G3000 equipped TBM 940. Cirrus Aircraft, the 2017 Collier Trophy winner, certified the first jet aircraft with Autoland in August 2020, the Vision Jet equipped with Perspective Touch+.