Reliable Robots and Xwing are two Bay Area startups working on aircraft that can fly themselves – no pilot required. Instead of building new aircraft, both companies upgraded Cessna Grand Caravans. The aircraft can fly autonomously while a remote operator monitors the flight and takes control if necessary.
Both companies said they are working with large logistics companies to deliver cargo as a first use case once FAA clearance is in place.
Xwing took CNBC on a test flight in which the pilot never touched the controls. Watch the video to see how the technology works and learn when self-flying aircraft could become the norm.