Digital CoPilot

Organization: The MITRE Corporation
Year: 2017

Statistics show that single-pilot operations—which make up the majority of General Aviation flights— are riskier than two-pilot flights. This is due to the high workload associated with flying an airplane solo and the lack of a second pilot to crosscheck decisions. Digital Copilot is a set of software algorithms that acts as a cognitive assistant by reducing the solo pilot’s workload. This application infers the pilot’s intent based on the flight context, determines when information is required and automatically provides it to the pilot at the appropriate time through a simple and intuitive speech-based interface. For example, by understanding what the pilot is trying to do, the Digital Copilot can offer radio frequencies when they are needed, monitor for weather events at the destination airport, or warn the pilot if he/she deviates from safe operations. This product improves safety by delivering some of the benefits of a second pilot to small aircraft. The Digital Copilot solution is low cost, requires no connection to the aircraft and runs on mobile devices.  It provides the information pilots need, when they need it, and in a format that is helpful and not distracting.