An Airbus A350XWB test plane at Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport.
Frederic Stevens | Pictures of Getty
LOS ANGELES – Airbus SE wants to know that all passengers are consulting – from coffee to movies, even to toilet paper. broad-body aircraft to test what its executives think is the cabin of the future: full of sensors that collect data on passenger-generated habits.
"This is not a concept. It is not a dream," Airbus & # 39; vice president of cabin marketing Ingo Wuggetzer said at an industry conference in Los Angeles this week.
The purpose was to gather data on passenger behavior and board consumption, information that could save airports and reduce board pain points for such passengers. as furious fighting for overhead bin space and lavatory queues.
So, how does it work?
Airbus added sensors to the entire aircraft, using it as a flying laboratory that would collect data about passenger use of certain parts of the aircraft and items on board. Information collected from the so-called Flight Lab is shared with both cabin crew, to meet board supplies, and to the airlines assigned to order them.
For example, Airbus plans to keep track of how many times the lavatory latch is opened and closed so crews and cabin crew can know how often bathrooms are used, and have a better idea of when to restock items, such as toilet paper or soap. It will also give airplanes a better sense of how many lavators they need on board, Wuggetzer said. The manufacturer also wants to keep track of things like how many times the seats are linked, he said, to give airlines a better sense of when they need maintenance so the planes aren't suddenly left empty-handed. seat jobs, forcing them to lose income.
Data is gathered from sensors through an onboard Wi-Fi system, and then shared with flight crews. The information will be shared with the planes once the plane lands.
Airbus is also planning to add small cameras to the board to keep track of how many people are waiting for bathrooms, and then let travelers know the approximate wait time or which one they should use . To ease privacy concerns, Wuggetzer said passengers' faces were blurred.
That also goes for food purchases and boarding orders, so the airports do not exceed or under item orders. an industry trade group that represents most of the world's planes, estimated that carriers generated 5.7 million metric tons of cabin waste in 2017 and said due to an increasing number of passengers aboard it could double by 2027 .
Don't expect these features to show off on your next flight in the near future. Wuggetzer said commercial airlines are still reviewing it and it's unclear if their carriers are willing to spread more for the features.
A350 trials are set to continue later this year.