Changes in the travel industry are becoming a daily ritual given the pace of innovation. This includes everything from large-scale developments like hybrid vehicles to minor creations like electric bicycles. More importantly, air travel is slowly morphing into an incredibly modern industry where technology is revolutionizing old-fashioned processes. To better understand this, consider some of the latest advancements that have been taking place in this market.
Switching from Fuel to Electricity
As with almost every transportation method, people are actively seeking ways to minimize the use of fossil fuel and replace it with environment-friendly alternatives. This is what gave rise to innovations like electric scooters and completely disrupted the way that people go about covering shorter distances. Well, the same is true for the countless air travel companies that operate enormous fleets of planes.
Although it is still in the development stages, electric-powered hypersonic travel is the latest offspring of human brilliance and innovation. For those unfamiliar, this is the concept of having an electric plane that offers hypersonic flights, greatly reducing the time required to travel long distances. Obviously, scientists are pursuing this invention in order to minimize the amount of toxic fuel that planes consume. To provide a frame of reference, a plane like Boeing’s 747 uses about a gallon of fuel per second and can sustain this rate for several hours in a single trip. Hence why it is crucial to seek alternatives resources and avoid burning through such an enormous amount of chemicals that go directly into the atmosphere.
More Power to the Autopilot
It is no secret that a lot of planes are operated by something known as autopilot. In simple terms, this is a high-level cruise control option that pilots can use to avoid steering the plane for the entire duration of the flight. Although it sounds extremely innovative, autopilots have actually been around for decades. The improvements that are made here, however, are slowly making it possible to have a wholly pilotless aircraft.
In fact, there are companies that are currently testing airplane-based taxis in Dubai where there is no pilot; just the computer. How does this benefit the market? Well, according to the Chief Executive Officer of Annax Aviation Services, Tony Freudmann, having technology operated planes would save the airline companies about $30 billion dollars. Fortunately, this does not mean that pilots would lose their jobs as their expertise would still be in high demand when it comes to improving the autopilot tools. It is also speculated that the market sentiment is not yet favorable of a fully automated flight, meaning pilots would still need to be on hand to provide peace of mind to passengers until the technology sees broader acceptance.
Staying Online While Flying
A few years ago, certain air travel companies began relying on satellite-based internet to offer their passengers a way to stay online while flying. Today, most of these types of services are still restricted to specific classes and individuals who are willing to pay additional fees. Soon, however, it is fair to expect that anyone who is on a plane will have the option to connect to the aircraft’s WiFi system. That way, people will still have the ability to stay online even when traveling 30,000 feet above the ground.
Streamlining the Administrative Side of Things
Another large trend that has entered practically every industry in the world is Big Data. As the name states, it is a massive source of information that helps companies track customers, forecast sales, increase efficiency, and more. In the air travel market, companies are leveraging Big Data to improve the way that their customers purchase tickets. A good example would be the marketing campaigns that companies use to promote their offering to buyers who are most likely to convert and make a transaction, or the sites offering ticket prices which automatically update during surge hours or for repeat visitors.
Airport Security Upgrades – Biometrics
When Apple introduced its fingerprint iPhone scanner in 2017, the vast majority of the market welcomed this addition to the smartphone with a passion. In reality, however, airports have been slowly implementing various levels of biometrics to their daily operations for years now. Examples include things like facial recognition, retinal scans, and many other ways that people can be identified with a minimal margin of error. Thus, as Tony Freudmann points out, the worrisome fear of not identifying travelers correctly is almost nonexistent.