# Why are digital autopilots better than analog?

I've heard many people say that a digital autopilot is better than its analog equivalent. How do the two differ in design and the way they control the plane?

• A lot of people think that anything newer is automatically better... – jwenting May 10 '15 at 4:42
• Digital is NEVER better. Digital is just different. Because digital systems are usually newer than analog ones, they just often tends to be better. Look at audio files: MP3 has yet to match the quality of a vinyl, but yet it has many advantages over it. And many computers rely on analog devices as source of informations (sensors, ...) – Antzi May 10 '15 at 5:58
• @antzi, I'd have to say that is completely wrong. Digital is more flexible than an analog system because you can do far more with code than you can with discrete elements of a circuit. Your audio example describes the difference between a continuous signal and a discretely sampled signal. That has nothing to do with the quality of digital vs analog. – chris12892 May 10 '15 at 18:15
• @antzi: Good luck making an analog GPS unit. – Nathan Tuggy May 10 '15 at 21:40
• @Antzi "Digital is NEVER better." That is a very incorrect statement. Digital signals are generally much more error/interference-resistant than analog ones and, for that reason alone, are very often better than analog signals. Digital signals are very often designed such that there will be no data/precision loss at all until such time as the entire signal is unrecoverable, which usually results in much better quality reception than an equivalent analog signal, even when the analog signal is using more bandwidth. See NTSC vs. ATSC or FM vs. digital radio, for example. – reirab May 11 '15 at 20:33