Thales has identified four key technology areas as game-changers for the aerospace industry: connectivity, cybersecurity, artificial intelligence and big data.
Vincent Megaides, Thales, told FINN: “There are more aircraft flying more and passengers will double over the next 20 years. What is important for us is how we can bring to the ecosystems – which means the airports, the air traffic controllers, the manufacturers of aircraft and all the airliners – all the tools, software and methodologies … to make this all work together in a seamless way.”
One key area for Thales is bringing connectivity to the cockpit.
“That is a major breakthrough in our in our strategy,” Megaides said, noting the recent release of Thales’ next-generation FlytX avionics suite.
On cybersecurity, Megaides noted: “We're working on two axes. We master not only the technology but also the methodologies and protocols to really master the cybersecurity in every system. [Further], in avionics we have a really long track record of safety.”
He said the introduction of data into the cockpit would be done in a “very careful way” ensuring a good flow of data but also the integrity of that data before it reaches the avionics system.
Urban air mobility
Looking further ahead, Megaides said urban air mobility offers a huge opportunity for the whole aerospace ecosystem, as well as a challenge.
“The whole industry must produce a cheaper and very safe solution because you want to fly safely in an automatic way over urban environments.
"But it's good for us because it will drive us towards new technology, injecting more artificial intelligence, more connectivity and avionics product that will serve the market”
It’s already becoming a reality, he said, noting: “We are already on board the Bell Nexus project where we're providing the flight controls, and we hope to do more in the coming years.”