Digitization has been going on since the first iteration of the computer (automating mundane tasks, employing computer programs to solve more complex tasks, etc.) However, today, the aviation industry is looking at artificial intelligence (AI) to launch its next chapter. Digital conversion.
The Global Symposium on the Implementation of Innovation in Aviation, organized by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) in December 2020, said Jean-Marc Clujou, chief adviser to the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA).
“Artificial intelligence is rapidly gaining ground and is widely accepted, including in the aviation domain. Although the concept of AI has existed since the 1950s, its development over the past decade has accelerated significantly due to three contemporary factors: the ability to collect and store large amounts of data, the increase in computing power, and the ever-increasing development. Strong algorithms and architecture. “
Scaling innovation and durability
On Thursday, Boeing and Microsoft announced that the two companies were deepening their strategic partnership. OEM tech giant Microsoft Cloud and its capabilities will use AI technology infrastructure and the ability to use data-driven methods to update mission-critical applications.
This was further expanded in a collaboration that began in 2016 when Boeing began shifting its portfolio of digital solutions to the technology cloud’s public cloud platform, Microsoft Azure. Susan Doniz, Boeing’s chief information officer and senior vice president of information technology and data analytics, commented:
“Today’s announcement represents a significant investment in Boeing’s digital future. Our strategic partnership with Microsoft will help us realize our cloud strategy by overcoming our infrastructural limitations, scaling properly to unlock innovation, and strengthening our commitment to sustainable operations. “
A new era of personalized air travel
Across the Atlantic, Lufthansa looks to Microsoft Azure to create a more personalized experience for passengers before, during and after their flight. Christian Spanbauer, head of IT digitization at Lufthansa Group, commented on the recent decision,
“One thing is for sure: no two passengers are one. Some travel frequently, while others fly for the first time. Some arrive at the gate two hours before boarding, while others go up at the last minute. We want our services to help all our customers enjoy stress-free travel according to their personal needs. That way, they’re sure to stay loyal to us for future trips. “
Lufthansa always collects information about operations, such as whether the flight is on-time, whether the connecting flight will be made, and who checked the luggage. However, so far, the data has been stored across different databases.
This method has worked well for preparing standard reports for the staff. Meanwhile, in the future, the airline wants to make real-time decisions based on data to meet the personal needs of passengers. Early next year, all group operators will have access to Lufthansa Group’s One Data Platform (ODP).
Lufthansa Group will be able to access data across all airlines. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple flying
‘New oil’ – in multiple ways
Data has often been dubbed new oil. Unfortunately, the comparison may not only apply to ‘mining’ and how profitable it may be once it is refined, but also to the environmental impact, probably useless, as it requires a lot of energy to store.
Microsoft as a company has been carbon neutral since 2012. However, like most companies that are ‘carbon neutral’, it depends on the carbon offset. Meanwhile, it promises to be carbon negative by 2030. In addition, Microsoft wants to eliminate all CO2 emissions by 2050 so that it contributes historically.
The Washington-based company also runs a program called AI for Earth. Through this platform, it provides grants to support projects that use AI to transform the relationships of people and organizations with the planet and the natural world. To date, it has provided more than 700 grants for projects with impact in more than 70 countries.
German flag carrier wants to customize passenger experience. Photo: Lufthansa
Data-driven waste reduction
The optimization that AI implementation will contribute to has the potential to reduce the overall environmental impact of aviation (outside of more explicit applications such as energy efficiency).
Lufthansa Spanbauer gives the example of a flight from Munich to London, where a woman carries a business traveler and a couple on vacation. When they arrive at the airport, the airline will be able to offer different options based on their data.
“We are already aware of the business woman’s food intolerance, as she often travels with us. We only recommend foods that we know she can eat. With just a few clicks, she can order her food through a self-service app and we We will bring this on board. On the contrary, we guide the couple through a different process, because we still do not have any information about their food choices. “
Extensive cloud computing application
Satavia, a UK startup based in Cambridge, hopes to eliminate 60% of the aviation climate impact by implementing AI-powered flight planning solutions. Its cloud-based software platform is built on Microsoft Azure. Incredible explosions of computing power will run sophisticated algorithms to reduce CO2 emissions and its composition contrails probably the most responsible for the non-CO2 effects of climate aviation.
Sativa is using Microsoft’s platform to reduce the structure of control. Photo: Getty Images
Other airlines and aerospace companies that have partnered with Microsoft for cloud services include Avianca, Iberia Express, GE Aviation, and Rolls-Royce. Airports including Dubai Airport and Swedavia are also committed to the platform. The latter operates ten airports across Sweden and reached net-zero in 2020 across its operations.
Commenting on the recent improvement in the company’s relationship with Boeing, Judson Althoff, EVP and chief commercial officer at Microsoft, said:
Where do you predict that artificial intelligence and data-driven solutions will have the most significant impact on the aviation industry in the coming decades? Leave a comment below and join the conversation