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Mantis Vision is developing 3-D scanning technology that could end up in lots of tablets.
Gur Bittan envisions a future where you’re not just capturing a regular video of a child’s first steps with a smartphone; you’re doing it in 3-D, and sharing it with friends who can manipulate the video to watch it from different perspectives—even the kid’s point of view, providing you’ve scanned the scene from enough angles.
It may be decades before autonomous vehicles can reliably handle the real world, experts say.
After catching the world and the auto industry by surprise with its progress with self-driving cars, Google has begun the latest, most difficult phase of its project – making the vehicles smart enough to handle the chaos of city streets.
Good afternoon, and thank you, Ed [Bolen].
When an aviation group gathers, we often recount the birth of the industry on that sandy dune at Kitty Hawk. We know the details almost by heart: December 17, 1903. Two bicycle repairmen. The Wright Flyer. 120 feet in 12 seconds at 6 miles per hour. And just a few test flights later, the distance in the air was almost three football fields long. We see that famous photograph in our mind.
But there is a back story we dont often discuss. Years before that first flight, the Wrights had to undergo a search for a place to make history. They turned to the Weather Bureau for help. The Weather Bureau, which had set up an office in Kitty Hawk in 1875, told the Wrights that Kitty Hawk has a steady wind and a free sweep on the beachperfect conditions for their test flights. The conditions on December 13 were good for flightbut December 13 was a Sunday, and the Wrights werent going to defeat gravity on a Sunday. At 10:35 in the morning, four days later, the Wrights looked into a freezing headwind with gusts of wind the Weather Bureau had predicted and the brothers finally brokered a deal with gravity. When it came time to tell the world, the Wrights used a telegraph located conveniently at the Weather Bureau.
In the 111 years since then, the list of things that have changed about aviation gets pretty long. What we fly. When we fly. Where we fly. How long it takes. Engines. Radar. GPS. Fuel. Technology on the ground. Technology in the cockpit. Technology in space.
But every one of us would agree that there is one thing that hasnt changed a bit since Orville and Wilbur set aside bicycle repairand that is the weather. To us, Hows the weather? isnt a throwaway phrase. Its at the heart of the go/no-go. And it doesnt matter what youre flying, whether youre a wide-body or a Cub, Mother Nature requires respect and attentionbefore, during and even after the flight.
You know that, and thats why youre here. The FAA knows that, and thats why we take weather as seriously as we do. In a big operating environment, we wont take risks with safety. Neither do you.
The facts are plain. Weather is the single largest uncontrolled and uncontrollable user of the national airspace system. Based on our own Ops Net numbersover a decades worth of keeping trackbetter than two-thirds of all air traffic delays longer than 15 minutes were due to weather. Were all well aware of the safety considerations. But weather also causes deviations, delays, and ground stops. Thats lost time, and lost productivity.
I cant unveil a plan to change the weather, but I can tell you what were going to do about it. We launched a joint weather safety campaign with our GA partners in safety on May 1 in Alaskajust in time for the summer flying season. We already have more than a dozen partners, including many in this room --AOPA, NBAA, EAA and NOAA as well as NTSB. We have a simple premise: While terrain, model type and pilot experience may vary, the one thing that should unite all pilots is respect for the weather. The GA community recognizes that, and they were eager to join in. You realize this, and the size of this audience proves it.
Got Weather is an on-line resource that will run until the end of the year. We focus on a new topic each month. In June, we focused on turbulence. This month were looking at Flying IFR: knowing what youre flying into. And with summer flying that means thunderstorms. Im sure that will come up in the discussion of How Humans Deal with Uncertainty later today. Historically, weve seen pilots operating general aviation aircraft under VFR into Instrument Meteorological Conditions as a significant factor in fatal accidents. These events are known as VFR into IMC accidents.
As a result of collaborative safety initiatives, there has been reduction in these accidents. In fact, over the last 36 months only 4 percent of the general aviation fatal accidents have been caused by VFR into IMC.
But I think wed all agree that were still not where we want to be. AOPA confirms that nearly 75 percent of weather-related GA accidents are fatal.
The accident numbers have been stable over the last five years, but even at that, one is one too many.
Weve said from the beginning that what will lead us to success is the willingness of the GA community to step up.
I think what makes this work is that its common-sense remindersthe very kind of reminders that save lives. And were asking pilots to engage other pilots in the campaign.
This month, we ask pilots questions that bear repeating here: Are you proficient or just current? What's your qualification, experience and comfort level for flying in weather? Would training better prepare you for this flying season? How do you get weather information? What can you learn about weather? Have you reviewed weather minimums? Do you have an escape plan? Know and recognize your limits.
We also encourage pilots to write down personal minimums. The rationale is simple: it will serve as a personal, flexible safety buffer based on the pilots individual skills, training, currency and proficiency.
We also ask pilots to talk to fellow pilots, Certfieid Flight Instructors and FAA/Industry safety managers about weather decision-making wherever you are on the ramp or at the Pilot Lounge.
Were doing a lot on social media too Facebook and Twitter. Our Got Weather messages have reached 1.7 million people on social media. Our target audience is engaging with this content: 16,000 clicks, likes, shares, comments and video views.
I visited AOPA out in Frederick just last week. I couldnt be more pleased with their commitment to this campaign. Im proud of this campaign. Its one of our best. You can check it out at www.faa.gov/go/gotweather.
As we enter into the next generation of aviation, I think that NextGen is going to change the response to go/no-go questions like Hows the weather? Were deploying NextGen technologies into the national airspace system today. NextGen is now.
Take ADS-B.It gives GA a good idea of what the controllers see. In terms of situational awareness, theres a much better idea of the location of aircraft in the sky around them. Were not talking about something far down the road. Pilots already are seeing the additional benefits of ADS-B In better weather, traffic and situational awareness. We believe they will equip to enjoy these benefits. FIS-B FlightInformation ServiceBroadcastis a service that broadcasts graphical weather to the cockpit based on what ground-based weather radar sees. In addition, FIS-B broadcasts text-based advisories including Notice to Airmen messages and reports on everything from significant weather to thunderstorm activity.
NextGen is not unlike the electrical system in your house. Its largely invisible, but what it does for you is readily apparent. NextGen changes might not be seen by the flying public, but the passengers know all about the shorter flights, the fewer delays and fewer missed connections. As A4A will tell you, the carriers are saving minutes and fuel and slicing emissions. Thats all courtesy of more precise routing. GA and small aircraft operators get greater access to more airports across the country particularly during bad weather.
Working together pays off. As I said earlier, airplanes have changed, but aviation weather products well, not so much. Some of our weather products are eerily similar to the telegraph that the Wright Brothers used. As a matter of fact, if you looked at an area forecast from 1965 and another one from today well, suffice it to say that its hard to tell one from the other.
Thats why were working with the National Weather Service to transition the Area Forecast to digital and graphical alternatives. Weve taken a review of all weather information produced by the National Weather service for aviation purposes.
We want to improve the product in support of aviation weather. Were looking for opportunities to digitize products and services. Were going to identify products and services that are duplicative and let me say this about that: their days are numbered. As well they should be.
The Area Forecast is a manually generated text product with no graphical components. It forecasts VFR clouds and weather, and its issued four times a day. These things date back to the 1930s. The current version has not been changed since the early 1990s. It is the most labor intensive product that the National Weather Service puts out. Once we make the switch, this frees up weather forecasters to focus on the more relevant graphic and digital products used by general aviation.
So were already mapping alternative sources of information. Were going to provide guidance for using these alternatives. The General Aviation Joint Steering Committee, which brings together government and industry to advance safety, has endorsed this idea. Thats not surprising. Making a long story short an old, old story short were targeting early 2015 for transition to the alternative sources of information.
Were also working on a NextGen piece with our partners in industry and at the National Weather Service that bears mention here. Steve Brown of NBAA will be moderating a panel in just a bit and this will be addressed this in more detail. Were working to evolve the Convective Collaborative Forecast Product. Thats been the bread and butter for NAS planning by traffic managers over the past 15 years. Prior to the Convective Collaborative Forecasst Product, just about every stakeholder in the NAS had their own convective forecast. As this group is well aware, not having a common forecast made it difficult to build a strategic plan for the NAS.
But we are not done with the evolution of the Convective Collavoative Forecast Product. Science and technology advances have introduced new high-resolution forecasts like the Consolidated Storm Prediction for Aviation. And weather models are providing reliable probabilistic forecasts of convection. These improvements are still in development as potential alternatives to the Convective Collavoative Forecast Product. Further R&D is required.
NextGen calls for the use of probabilistic weather information for strategic planning. With the introduction of reliable weather information about thunderstorms, TFM planners can build a plan for the day that is based on the most likely weather scenario, as well as alternative plans to account for other potential weather scenarios.
This capability is critical for TFM planners to exploit new technology and procedures.
The Wright Brothers instinct was to pay attention to the weather. Their plan was to seek guidance, to work in partnership, to maximize their efforts. Were here today and tomorrow because their idea worked. But were also here because were following suit. Working in partnership maximizes our efforts. The Wrights made history with this approach. Lets do more of the same.
July 14NextGen software technology that will allow air traffic controllers to maximize the benefits of Performance Based Navigation (PBN) procedures on the approach to the runway is being transferred to the FAA from NASA today in an official ceremony at FAA headquarters.
Coupled with the precision of PBN, the technology, called Terminal Sequence and Spacing, provides predictability, allowing controllers to safely reduce excess spacing between approaching aircraft, saving time and fuel while reducing emissions.
The technology uses time-based metering to improve the safety and efficiency of Area Navigation (RNAV) and Required Navigation Performance (RNP) approach procedures in terminal airspace.
The airport-centric Terminal Sequence and Spacing technology dovetails with an existing traffic metering tool that delivers efficiencies in the airspace beyond the airport. Time-Based Flow Management, which improves the flow of traffic through high altitude, en route airspace down to the four corner posts, navigational fixes in the sky approximately 40 miles from an airport. Terminal Sequence and Spacing helps controllers manage aircraft from the four corner posts down to the runway.
With the new technology, controllers see circles called slot markers on their display screens that indicate where an aircraft should be in order to fly a RNAV or RNP route through the forecasted wind field, meet all speed and altitude restrictions and land on time. This software enables the use of PBN procedures to become more routine, requiring less vectoring, fewer level-offs of aircraft and less communication between controllers and pilots.
The FAA, which received an initial technology transfer of Terminal Sequence and Spacing from NASA last September, is expected to make a full investment decision by the end of the year through its Joint Resources Council, a team of top agency executives that reviews major acquisitions and approves funding.