FIRESIDE CHAT TOPIC: Using artificial intelligence to improve the general aviation experience.
DETAILS: FLYING’s Thom Patterson talks with Dan Schwinn about their PilotEye product works and what may be coming in eVTOL.
SPEAKER: Schwinn is founder, CEO, and president of Avidyne.
BIO: Schwinn founded Avidyne in 1994 to bring advanced displays, flight controls, communication, navigation, and surveillance systems to general aviation and business aircraft. Prior to founding Avidyne Corporation, Schwinn co-founded Shiva Corporation, a global communications equipment manufacturer that grew to sales of $150 million and 500 employees and provided outstanding returns to its investors, reaching a $2.6 billion market capitalization. Schwinn currently flies a Lake Renegade seaplane, a Cessna 206, and a Hawker 800, and he is also type-rated in the Dassault Falcon 100.
KEY QUOTES FROM SCHWINN:
“I think I had some interest in flying growing up, probably spurred by a flight in one of my father’s business associate’s 182, or it’s that class of aircraft, when I was probably in my teens, and then I decided that I ought to fly in the Air Force, so I went and did all the work and got myself an Air Force ROTC scholarship, but then when I went to college and went to sign up with my glasses on they said ‘You know we’re glad to have you in the Air Force, but you’ll never fly an airplane for us because you don’t have perfect vision.’ So I decided against that.”
“The PilotEye system is based on visual cameras, meaning things that a pilot can see with their eyes, and using artificial intelligence to interpret that. Now, the tricky part here nowadays where artificial intelligence has been around for a while and every Tesla has it and so forth is not so much getting an artificial intelligence to be able to pick a plane out of a visual camera … you know we’re building some pretty high-powered hardware to do that, but the tricky part is certifying it as an aviation product.”
“The variety of things that [are] being tried in advanced air mobility is just infinitely larger than what was tried [at about 2010]. … This is really way more diverse and interesting then what happened back then.”