We live in a time where we can ask our phones questions and they can answer them. So why can’t robotic planes fly us around?
The director of the Australian Research Centre for Aerospace Automation at the Queensland University of Technology, Dr Duncan Campbell, is projecting that freight planes will be flying around Australia without pilots in the cockpit in the next decade. “There’ll still always be a human in the loop, although it might be more like a mission commander on the ground rather than a pilot,” Dr Campbell said.
You can imagine passenger planes wouldn’t be too far behind. Dr Campbell speculated to The Punch yesterday they might take another decade or more to start appearing—if people were comfortable with them, that is.
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It’s like something out of a dream. Right in front of your eyes, a corner of Sydney’s Town Hall train station has been transformed into a giant supermarket catalogue.
It’s a marketing campaign for Woolworths’ mobile app. Smartphones in hand, commuters are “scanning” 2D groceries displayed on the wall in front of them. Bread, milk, a pack of half a dozen sausages. It’s just like a supermarket. Just without the checkout chicks.
Around a decade ago, self-service machines were deployed throughout supermarkets and discount variety stores across the country, competing to scan your groceries with a band of pimply teenagers slaving for a minimum wage after school. But now with this latest innovation, even those have been cut out of the equation. The consumer can do it all themselves with the phone in their hand. It’s yet another sign that, thanks to technology, “checkout chick” has become an obsolete occupation. It’s not the only one that has.
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