Lasering a Path to Safer Runways?

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A fresh new take on how to get drivers to keep their eyes on the road may work out for pilots at an airport as well. Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University students came upon an eye-catching technology as part of their quest to win an FAA design competition for reducing accidents and incidents on the airport surface.
 
The students’ basic drive was to give pilots the information they need in an intuitive and low-cost way while looking out of the windscreen rather than down. Key to their solution was a laser-based “augmented reality” technology that San Francisco-based MVS-California is developing for the automobile and other industries. 

Called Virtual Cable (see videos of the system in action), the dashboard-mounted system produces a colored line that appears to extend ahead of the vehicle pointing along a pre-programmed route, in this case on the taxiways around an airport. While still in prototype form, Virtual Cable is definitely a technology to keep an eye on, both for cars and planes.
 
For their part, the students won the competition.

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