Garmin Autoland wins prestigious Robert J. Collier Trophy

On June 3, Garmin International, Inc., a unit of Garmin Ltd. announced that Garmin Autoland has received the 2020 Robert J. Collier Trophy for the world’s first certified autonomous system designed to activate in an emergency to safely fly and land an aircraft. without human intervention 1.

The Collier Trophy has been the benchmark of aerospace achievement for over a century and is awarded annually by the National Aeronautic Association (NAA) to recognize “the greatest achievement in aeronautics or astronautics in America, in regards to improvement. performance, efficiency, safety in the air or space vehicles, the value of which has been fully demonstrated by actual use during the previous year. The seven nominees for 2020 included the Bell V-280 Valor, SpaceX Falcon 9 and Dragon 2, among others.

“The Garmin Autoland system marks a significant improvement in civil aviation,” said NAA President Jim Albaugh. “Its ability to pick up an aircraft with a disabled pilot and land it safely will save many lives in the future. It is a remarkable technical achievement and clearly deserves the Necklace Trophy.

“Autoland began as a simple exploration to develop automation technology for general aviation aircraft,” said Cliff Pemble, president and CEO of Garmin. “This exploration resulted in the first automated system capable of safely piloting and landing an aircraft in an emergency without human intervention. It is a tremendous honor for Autoland to be recognized as one of the greatest achievements in aviation history. We owe this accomplishment to the many Garmin associates who dedicated themselves to the creation of this revolutionary aviation safety technology. “

Part of the Garmin Autonomí family of autonomous safety-enhancing technologies, Autoland is the first certified system of its kind in the world. In the event of an emergency, such as a pilot’s incapacity, a passenger can activate Autoland with the push of a dedicated button, if the pilot is no longer able to perform his pilot-in-command duties. Autoland can also activate automatically if the system does not detect any interaction with the pilot. Once activated, the system immediately calculates a flight path to the most suitable airport and runway, while avoiding terrain and adverse weather conditions, initiates a stabilized approach and automatically lands the aircraft.

In 2020, three aircraft received type certification with Garmin Autoland. Piper Aircraft received Garmin Autoland’s first FAA type certification on the M600 SLS in May 2020. In July 2020, DAHER obtained the first certification from the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and the second FAA certification from Autoland on the TBM 940. Cirrus Aircraft Vision 2017 Collier Trophy winner Cirrus Aircraft Vision was the first jet aircraft certified with Autoland in August 2020.

Garmin is committed to continued innovation in the industry and is on a mission to create exciting new possibilities for air travel in the future, by developing the story of other Robert J. Collier Trophy winners. Past Collier Trophy recipients include Orville Wright, Neil Armstrong and the Apollo 11 Team, Cirrus Aircraft for the Airframe Complete Parachute System (CAPS) on the Vision Jet, Lockheed’s Skunk Works and the F-117A, the Boeing 747, the NASA Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity Project Team, Cessna Aircraft Company and Citation X Design Team and many other historic achievements that have advanced aviation for generations to come.

The Collier Trophy is on permanent display at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC The official Collier Trophy presentation ceremony will take place later this year. For more information on the NAA, including a list of past recipients, visit

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