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Pilotless Planes Could Save Billions — If People Are Willing To Get On

Autonomous planes could save the airline industry billions of dollars and cut ticket prices by around 10 percent.

Of course, that's only if people are willing to get on them. And right now, they're not.

A new report by UBS Evidence Lab says only 17 percent of the 8,000 people surveyed would ride on a plane that didn't have a pilot, even if the fare were much cheaper than that of a piloted flight.

That's not the best news for airlines. Getting rid of pilots could save the industry over $35 billion. Plus, pilots are retiring, and experts predict there could soon be a shortage. An increased demand means airlines could have to pay up to keep the pilots they have and recruit more.

SEE MORE: You've Heard Of Self-Driving Cars, But How About Autonomous Ships?

The survey comes as autonomous vehicles are gaining in popularity. In June, Boeing announced it would start testing pilotless planes in simulators this year.

And two Norwegian companies are currently creating the world's first autonomously operated container ship.

If pilotless planes do take off, its expected they'll be tested as cargo planes before they carry human passengers.


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