UAV Embraer and Ufes perform first autonomous aircraft test in Brazil

  • Embraer

Brazilian aircraft manufacturer Embraer has announced that, together with company Ufes, first autonomous aircraft tests have been performed in Brazil.

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Ufes is the Universidade Federal do Espirito Santo and is the federal university in Vitoria. This scientific and technological cooperation between Embraer and Ufes has resulted in the first test of an autonomous aircraft in Brazil.

A prototype performed the taxiing operation for the first time on its own. The vehicle moved along an established path without human interaction. No outside assistance was needed to manoeuvre the aircraft, which used sensor and image data to roll down the taxiway.

Professor Alberto Ferreira de Souza, project coordinator commented: “This success demonstrates the excellence of what we have been developing at Ufes in the last 10 years in the areas of autonomous vehicles and artificial intelligence. It puts us once again at the scientific forefront in these areas worldwide. Doing all this in partnership with Embraer fills us with pride and satisfaction.”

“Our strategy for technology development in autonomous systems seeks to position the country at the forefront of artificial intelligence processes in a variety of applications”, added Daniel Moczydlower, Embraer's Executive Vice President of Engineering and Technology. “Achieving this technological milestone in Embraer's 50th anniversary month demonstrated not only the importance of bringing industry closer to the university, but also how prepared and engaged our people are for the journey of excellence needed for the coming decades.”

The test took place in Sao Paulo state and is the result of six months of work, in which Embraer and Ufes have worked together on mathematical and computational models of automation, hardware, GPS and software development. Prior the test in the real world, the autonomous land navigation was tested in a simulator.

During the test, an integrated artificial intelligence system showed the vehicle´s external and internal conditions. The test aircraft platform, which is the same to modern executive jets like the Legacy 500 and Praetor 600, has integrated features of the Intelligent Autonomous Robotic Automobile (IARA) system.

The partnership with Embraer and Ufes over the course of pre-competitive research and development, hopes to accelerate the overall knowledge of autonomous systems for the industry. Through the implementation of new innovations, the partners seek to explore new innovations.

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