Garmin Autoland has been named the recipient of the 2020 Robert J. Collier Trophy for being “the world’s first certified autonomous system that activates during an emergency to safely control and land an aircraft without human intervention.” Garmin introduced its Emergency Autoland system in October 2019 and the first Autoland-equipped aircraft received its FAA type certification in May 2020. The system is currently available on the Piper M600/SLS, Daher TBM 940 and Cirrus Vision Jet.
“The Garmin Autoland system marks a significant improvement in civil aviation,” said National Aeronautic Association (NAA) Chairman Jim Albaugh. “It’s ability to take over an airplane with a disabled pilot and land it safely will save many lives in the future. It’s a remarkable technical achievement and clearly merits the Collier Trophy.”
The Collier trophy is awarded annually by the NAA for “… the greatest achievement in aeronautics or astronautics in America, with respect to improving the performance, efficiency, and safety of air or space vehicles, the value of which has been thoroughly demonstrated by actual use during the preceding year.” In addition to Autoland, the 2020 nominees included the Bell V-280 Valor, Boeing Confident Travel Initiative, Reliable Robotics Remotely Operated Aircraft System (ROAS), SpaceX Falcon 9 & Dragon 2, U.S. Department of the Air Force Green Propellant Infusion Mission Team and Yates Electrospace Corporation’s Silent Arrow. A formal presentation date has not yet been set.