There’s been a lot of recent buzz about AI, AR and VR in early 2023. But what exactly do these acronyms refer to? And more importantly, will any of this affect us soon?
For some, the answer is yes – there are use cases for AR and VR in pilot training that we’ll discuss below. To explore, let’s have some fun though and use AI (artificial intelligence) to learn more about AR and VR.
The artificial intelligence product currently in the media spotlight is OpenAI’s new ChatGPT. ChatGPT is a generative AI platform that … in a nutshell … has read the entire public internet and can use it to answer questions and create content such as summaries, papers, reports and stories. This will have a wide-reaching impact on many industries, and industry leaders are already grappling with how to best use it for specific use cases. This version of ChatGPT was released in November 2022 and immediately captured the attention of industry leaders and educators alike – gaining over 1 million users in the first week.
While it’s unlikely that ChatGPT will have a role in the aviation industry in 2023, there are some innovations in technology that can continue to improve the aviation industry, those being augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR).
What AI Is Telling Us About AR and VR in the Aviation Industry
For fun, we asked ChatGPT to explain the difference between AR and VR. Here’s what it wrote:
Then we asked it the following question:
Here’s the full textual response.
AR and VR can benefit the aviation industry in several ways:
- Training: Both AR and VR can be used to train pilots, air traffic controllers, and maintenance personnel in a safe and cost-effective manner. For example, pilots can use VR headsets to simulate different flight scenarios, such as takeoff and landing in different weather conditions, without putting themselves or passengers at risk.
- Maintenance and repair: AR can be used to assist maintenance and repair personnel by overlaying digital instructions and information onto the physical components of aircraft, allowing them to more easily access and understand the information they need to complete a task.
- In-flight entertainment: Airlines can use VR to provide passengers with an immersive entertainment experience, such as virtual tours of destinations or in-flight movies with a more realistic feel.
- Safety and navigation: AR can be used to provide pilots with real-time information about weather conditions, flight routes, and other important information, helping to improve safety and navigation.
- Passenger experience: Airlines can use AR to provide passengers with information about their flight and the airport, such as gate and baggage claim information, as well as providing an interactive shopping experience.
Overall, AR and VR can provide a more immersive and efficient training, maintenance and repair, in-flight entertainment, safety and navigation, and passenger experience experience for the aviation industry.
Should we cite this author as the ChatGPT artificial intelligence platform? Here’s the screenshot of its response.
It did include “experience” twice in the last sentence, but on first glance, this looks pretty good. So how does it compare to aviation expert opinions?
Jasoren develops virtual and augmented reality applications for a number of industries, including aviation, and lists the following AR / VR uses in flight training:
- Preflight inspection
- Aviation maintenance
- VR cabin crew VR training
- VR flight deck training
- In-flight entertainment
See how Lufthansa is using VR in training and in-flight entertainment.
Here are some additional sources:
- The U.S. Air Force exploring AR/VR in pilot training
- VR for pilot training
- AR and VR aviation training use cases
For fun, you can create your free ChatGPT account and ask it more specific questions about uses of AR / VR for flight deck training, engineering, maintenance, etc.
At the RACCA conference in late 2022, we had the chance to speak with Mark Taylor, president of Taylor Programs In-person and Virtual Workshops, about AR / VR technologies. Here’s what he had to say:
I have been preaching best practices in research-based instruction for about 20 years now. I continue to be surprised, and not delighted, with how slow higher ed has been to move to doing what data shows works in creating learning. Innovation away from lecture-based instruction continues to be around the edges at most schools. This generation of students, and student pilots, who like on-line instruction, could especially benefit from VR and AR. Leveraging online training and new technologies are great for the aviation industry.
Over the past two decades we’ve experienced the shift from in-person aviation training to online training. In the coming years, we’re likely to continue using modern technologies like AR and VR in many areas of aviation training and maintenance.