Companies are investing in new technologies like artificial intelligence, robotics, virtual and augmented reality and other wearables in an effort to gain advantage over their competition. The demand for engineers and researchers in these areas is on the rise around the world.
Universities such as Stanford, Waterloo and MIT, specializing in A.I. courses are seeing a record number of interested students. Careers in these areas promise to be interesting and lucrative.
Transportation companies like Uber, Tesla and others are looking to autonomous vehicle technology to give an advantage is the not so distant market for such products. Airplane manufacturers like Boeing and Airbus are also investing heavily in this technology. In order to take full advantage of autonomous technology in the aero-space industry they first need to make the move to all electric or electric-hybrid propulsion platforms.
Airbus in the past has worked with Near Earth Autonomy to develop next generation aerospace designs.
Airbus working with Near Earth Autonomy to develop next generation autonomous electric planes
Boeing Sugar Volt electric hybrid plane
In late 2017, Boeing’s HorizonX invested in Near Earth Autonomy, a Pittsburgh-based company focused on developing a portfolio of technologies that enable safe and reliable autonomous flight. In addition to the investment, Boeing and Near Earth Autonomy also announced a partnership to explore future products and applications for emerging markets such as urban mobility.
“This partnership will accelerate technology solutions that we feel will be key to unlocking emerging markets of autonomous flight,” said Steve Nordlund, Boeing HorizonX vice president.
We are excited to begin this partnership with a company with such a depth of experience in autonomy so we can leverage the scale of Boeing to innovate for our customers.
The investment in Near Earth Autonomy is the first in autonomous technologies by Boeing HorizonX Ventures since it was established in April. Near Earth Autonomy, a spin-off from Carnegie Mellon University’s Robotics Institute, is a leader in software and sensor technology that enables aircraft ranging from sub-meter to full scale to inspect, map and survey terrain and infrastructure, as well as transport cargo autonomously.
“This is an exciting opportunity for Near Earth,” said Sanjiv Singh, CEO, Near Earth Autonomy.
The Boeing HorizonX investment will accelerate the development of robust products and enable access to a broader portfolio of applications for aerial autonomy.
Near Earth’s founders have over three decades of experience developing autonomous systems for ground and aerial vehicles. Two of their groundbreaking achievements include the world’s first full-size autonomous helicopter flights in partnership with the U.S. Army in 2010 and ongoing work with the Office of Naval Research developing an autonomous aerial cargo delivery platform for the U.S. Marines.
By leveraging the power of the world’s largest aerospace company, Boeing HorizonX invests in new business ventures to unlock the next generation of game-changing ideas, products, and markets.