The aviation industry and other transportation sectors are adopting the IoT trend out of the need to stay competitive, especially during the post-pandemic era. It is passengers who are driving the IoT demand that transportation companies now aim to meet.
The High-Tech Future of the Aviation Industry
After years of low-cost carriers winning the battle over passengers, a shift among traveler sentiment points to more personalized services as a catalyst for revenue growth. Travelers expect a higher degree of personalization from the booking stage to the end of the trip. The main factors driving change in the aviation industry are society, environment, politics, economy and technology.
The future of flight will involve much more digital surroundings, according to a recent report by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) called "Future of the Airline Industry 2035." The report lists new technologies shaping future aviation development and include cybersecurity, robotics, automation, 3D printing, virtual reality, augmented reality, IoT, and big data.
Here are areas of technology that are currently shaping the future of aviation:
• Artificial Intelligence (AI) - Use of AI technology in the aviation industry is projected to grow 46.4 percent (CAGR) by 2023. AI plays a significant role by offering passengers a personalized traveling experience. Airlines are now able to curate services for passengers with the help of machine learning (ML) software that can instantly scan a vast amount of data points about a passenger's purchasing history and customer satisfaction reviews to recommend how to communicate with them.
• Big Data Collection and Transmission - Data is considered the currency of the digital age, and airlines can use AI and ML to refine marketing strategies. Data can come from multiple sources within a business network and help predict behavior, an important process for increasing competitiveness and customer loyalty.
• Automated Processes - Certain redundant jobs are being replaced by machines to make work processes more efficient. Automation software is useful for what would be considered a repetitive task by humans. The technology has already led to self-driving cars and will further lead to pilotless planes. Modern planes already operate on auto-pilot most of the trip. Manual activity by pilots usually limited to takeoff and landing procedures.
• Use of Biometrics - Verifying a person's identity in the future will come down to biometric technologies such as facial recognition, fingerprint authentication, and retinal scanning. It will be found at border control checkpoints, airport terminals, and migration centers. Real-time luggage tracking via biometric technologies will also become the norm.
• Greater In-flight Connectivity - Airports have widely adopted free Wi-Fi as part of the deal to attract passengers. Delta Airlines has begun offering free internet inside the flight for all domestic and international flights. This new development gives passengers the option of communicating in the air through text rather than voice via a cellphone.
• More Resourceful Workforce - The future workforce of airports and airlines will be a mix of humans and robots. Human workers, especially air-traffic controllers, pilots, and engineers, will require retraining to increase their digital competence. Upskilling will allow workers to properly utilize all the newly available data designed to help optimize daily tasks.
The widespread adoption of IoT in aviation has already begun. Now it is only a matter of keeping pace with new technology. A successful deployment depends on careful attention to detail and robust testing of security, automation, and machine learning processes. The airlines' ability to detect cyber threats and test multiple systems before deployment lessens the potential for errors and helps reduce resistance to the IoT revolution in the aviation world.