Aircraft may be driven by Jet-A, but the cabin will be driven by data. That, at least, was the vision outlined by Airbus at AIX 2019 today.
By turning the cabin – seats, luggage space, galleys and toilets – into an internet of Things (IoT), the airframer hopes to enhance the passenger experience, and help cabin crew and maintenance staff on the ground do their jobs better, faster and more efficiently.
The Airbus Connected Experience concept is turning study into reality, with help from catering specialist Gategourmet and seating suppliers Recaro and Stelia. The first IoT-enabled cabin should be flying by the end of 2020 in an A320, says senior vice-president for cabin and cargo Soren Scholz.
For airlines, the concept should help reduce costs – for example by ensuring that ground maintenance staff have precise data about what onboard equipment needs attention even before the aircraft arrives – and also create opportunities to generate ancillary revenue. For passengers, says Scholz, this "seamless interconnectivity within the cabin will also be of tremendous benefit… to enjoy individually tailored, personalised service".
The galley will be a focus of IoT functions, with passengers able to order food or beverages from their seats without cabin crew having to travel the aisles. And to know, for example, when a meal service started and ended and whether the food was served at the correct temperature will feed valuable data into meal service planning and development.
For more news, pictures and analysis from AIX 2019, visit our dedicated event page
Source: Flight Daily News