On February 19, 2018, a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launched without supervision from a Air Force Mission Flight Control Officer. Instead, an on-board automated system monitored the rocket to ensure it stayed within its intended trajectory, ready to issue a self-destruct order if it veered off course. This is a first in US space launch history.
This dispenses with the need for ground-based monitoring of telemetry and radar, making the system less complicated and more reliable. It also opens up the possibility of different flight paths since the ground-based equipment is no longer needed.
On this flight, SpaceX was able to reduce its range personnel headcount by over 140.
This is another instance of SpaceX using Principle 6 – Universality to their advantage, saving costs while improving reliability and flexibility, by removing systems that have functions that can be met by other systems already in place.
Are there systems or processes you are involved in the design of that could benefit from having something removed? Do you have human supervision of a process that could be automated?