29. June 2017

Dig­i­tal pi­lot in the cock­pit – the A-Pi­Mod project re­ceives the Ger­man Mo­bil­i­ty Award

The Gener­ic Ex­per­i­men­tal Cock­pit (GECO)
Image 1/4, Credit: DLR/Ernsting.

The Generic Experimental Cockpit (GECO)

The A-Pi­Mod project was test­ed in the GECO at the DLR In­sti­tute of Flight Guid­ance.
The award win­ners
Image 2/4, Credit: DLR (CC-BY 3.0).

The award winners

The win­ners of the Ger­man Mo­bil­i­ty Award 2017. Among them, Helge Lenz and An­dreas Has­sel­berg from the DLR A-Pi­Mod project (sec­ond and third from the right).
A-Pi­Mod in the GECO
Image 3/4, Credit: DLR (CC-BY 3.0).

A-PiMod in the GECO

The A-Pi­Mod acts as a ‘third pi­lot’, and of­fers its hu­man col­leagues a va­ri­ety of sug­gest­ed cours­es of ac­tion on screen.
A-Pi­Mod – fund­ed by the EU
Image 4/4, Credit: EU.

A-PiMod – funded by the EU

The Eu­ro­pean Union pro­vid­ed 4.5 mil­lion eu­ro in fund­ing for the A-Pi­Mod project.

  • A-PiMod – a digital 'third person' in the cockpit supports pilots and recommends courses of action.
  • The project was honoured with the German Mobility Award on 28 June 2017.
  • Focus: Aviation, Digitalisation

The idea behind the A-PiMod project is to install a digital pilot in the cockpit to provide its human colleagues with in-flight advice. The research was conducted by the In­sti­tute of Flight Guid­ance at the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR), in cooperation with seven partners from science and industry. A-PiMod was honoured with the German Mobility Award as a lighthouse project for smart mobility on 28 June 2017 in Berlin.

Computerised crew member

At present, cockpit operations cannot take place without automated procedures. However, this is usually done for technical reasons, and the state of the pilots is seldom taken into account. This creates a complex interface between the pilot and the automated systems. Analyses of accidents indicate that problems with this human/machine interface contribute to a significant proportion of serious incidents. The newly developed cockpit architecture A-Pi­Mod (Ap­ply­ing Pi­lot Mod­els for Safer Air­craft), a 'cockpit of the future', improves human/machine cooperation. "To do this, A-PiMod monitors the aircraft and its environmental conditions, as well as the state of the pilots," explains Andreas Hasselberg from the DLR Institute of Flight Guidance. "The system uses the pilots' eye movements, gestures and operations to draw conclusions about their current intentions, situational awareness and work-related stress." A-PiMod uses this data to provide the pilots with the best possible support in any given situation. “The system addresses the pilots proactively, makes suggestions and adapts to them and their situation. It is quite similar to a good human team member – a bit like a third pilot," Hasselberg adds.

The European Union contributed around 4.5 million euro to research on the A-PiMod project, which was carried out from September 2013 to August 2016. In addition to DLR, the research partners were Honeywell, Brno University of Technology, OFFIS e.V., Symbio Concepts and Projects, the Netherlands Aerospace Centre (NLR), KITE Solutions and Trinity College Dublin.

A-PiMod receives German Mobility Award

The project was recently honoured by the 'Germany – Land of Ideas' initiative and the German Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI) as one of 10 outstanding digital innovations for safe mobility. The German member of parliament Dorothee Bär, Parliamentary State Secretary at the BMVI, and Ute Weiland, Managing Director of the 'Germany – Land of Ideas' initiative, presented the awards at the BMVI building in Berlin. Overall, 170 projects were submitted for consideration.

With the Ger­man Mo­bil­i­ty Award, the 'Germany – Land of Ideas' initiative and BMVI intend to raise public awareness of smart mobility solutions and digital innovation. The following members of the 'Digital Networks and Mobility' platform at the Digital Summit support the German Mobility Award: Continental Automotive GmbH, Deutsche Bahn AG, Deutsche Telekom AG, Ericsson GmbH, Esri Deutschland GmbH, Huawei Technologies Deutschland GmbH and the Association of German Transport Companies (Verband Deutscher Verkehrsunternehmen; VDV).

  • Jasmin Begli
    Cor­po­rate Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Braun­schweig, Cochst­edt, Stade and Trauen
    Ger­man Aerospace Cen­ter (DLR)

    Pub­lic Af­fairs and Com­mu­ni­ca­tions
    Telephone: +49 531 295-2108
    Fax: +49 531 295-12100
    Lilienthalplatz 7
    38108 Braunschweig
  • Dr Andreas Hasselberg
    Ger­man Aerospace Cen­ter (DLR)
    DLR In­sti­tute of Flight Guid­ance, Hu­man Fac­tors
    DLR In­sti­tute of Flight Guid­ance
    Telephone: +49 531 295-2427
    Fax: +49 531 295-2550

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