Airbus aircrafts are about to get a whole lot smarter. Smart enough to even track how long you’ve been there in the airline bathroom! It’s not a concept, neither a dream but a hardcore reality. The jet maker, Airbus is all set to offer cabin platforms that are more digitally connected. In a move to make airlines more efficient and save money, the aircraft manufacturer has digitalized commercial cabins by introducing the ‘Airbus Connected Experience.’
Airbus Connected Experience
Referred to as the ‘Airbus Connected Experience’, the new digital platform on A350-900 connects all cabin components of the plane such as seats, overhead bins, meal trolleys, and lavatories, to the passengers and crews on-board. It offers a more detailed survey of the cabin with sensors fitted everywhere from the seats and overhead bins to galley carts and lavatory. The sensors indicate as when bathroom soap is running low and how much toilet paper remains in each bathroom. As the entire data from these various areas is sent to flight attendant tablets or smart phones in real time, the cabin crew can control features such as window shades, lights and public address volume from their mobile devices.
They can easily get information on what’s on-board and where, like which galley carts contain specific meals, such as pre-orders or vegetarian selections. Not only that, overhead bin spaces can be detected empty or filled much like the lighting schemes used in parking decks to signal drivers toward unoccupied spaces.
Smart Cabin Configuration
Airbus 320 and A350 have smart cabin configuration. It includes the iSeat too. The smart seat has inbuilt sensors in the armrest, backrest and tray table, a connected galley area and a remote wireless cabin management system. The seat belts also have sensors; your belt will signal red for unbuckled and green when fastened. Perhaps, this will speed up boarding and departure, dispensing with those lap-scrutinizing walk-throughs flight attendants must perform. However, the smart seat and the connected cabin components have been tested on A350-900 Flight Lab aircraft based at its Hamburg facility.
Cameras outside Lavatory
Airbus is also planning to offer airlines the option of cameras outside each lavatory. This will keep the flight attendant informed of how many passengers are waiting. Also, it can alert the attendant that someone inside may be ill or need assistance. Other than the urgent help, this will show airlines the length of wait times on various flights, and also on different aircrafts.
According to Airbus, the data collected from the new ‘Airbus Connected Experience’ system will be uploaded to its ‘Skywise’ cloud service. In fact, it could provide other aviation companies with a trove of customer data, including meal preferences, in-flight purchases, and even bathroom habits. The aircraft company has begun flight testing the connected cabin on its A350 test aircraft. Moreover, it plans to introduce it on the A321 family in 2021.