The cognitive focus of pilots has shifted from controlling the aircraft to managing the sensor systems with the introduction of autonomous flight systems. One can compare with modern drones, which are very easy to control, but still the pan, tilt and zoom of the onboard camera is a challenging task.
Further, planning the flight to maximize the information from e.g. a camera poses its own challenge. It requires understanding of how to manage available sensors to achieve the goal at hand; proactively take limitations in the environment into consideration; react to changes; learn from experience; and collaborate as necessary.
Four WASP students demonstrating autonomous drone flight in the Visionen test arena as part of a WASP project course. Photo credit David Brohede