The Vertical Power VP-400 Runway Seeker does for planes what the car industry is trying to accomplish for cars: Take the pilot out of the equation and guide you safely to your destination without your interaction.
While there is much more to this device than just hardware, it is rather impressive what an ARM based processor is able to accomplish today. According to Nvidia, the Runway Seeker relies on a Colibri T20 Tegra module for all necessary calculations to take the plane on a path to the nearest airport and land it on a runway.
"As the plane flies, the Tegra calculates a glide path to every runway within range 30 times a second, taking into account factors such as wind speeds, runway lengths, terrain and potential obstacles," Nvidia wrote in a blog post. "For humans to estimate that in the middle of an emergency is very difficult to do, whereas it is relative easy and unemotional for a powerful microprocessor to do,” said Marc Ausman, co-founder of Vertical Power. There are plenty of other scenarios in which such a system could come in handy, especially for those pilots on rely on flying by sight.
Vertical Power said that the device also uses flight simulation software by X-Plane as well as a databases that describe airports, terrain, and any obstacles that could be encountered.