Archive

ShareThis Page
Boeing to partner with, invest in Near Earth Autonomy on next gen aircraft | TribLIVE.com
Technology

Boeing to partner with, invest in Near Earth Autonomy on next gen aircraft

Tribune-Review
| Thursday, October 19, 2017 9:03 a.m
ptrnearearthboeing002102017
ptrnearearthboeing001102017
Riccardo Arata - stock.adobe.com
A rendering of an Near Earth Autonomy-powered autonomous aerial vehicle identifying a landing zone. (Photo from Near Earth Autonomy)

Pittsburgh’s Near Earth Autonomy and aerospace giant Boeing will team up to work on a new generation of autonomous aircraft.

Boeing’s partnership with Near Earth Autonomy will include a significant investment from the Chicago-based company’s HorizonX Ventures and research and development support, said Sanjiv Singh, CEO of Near Earth Autonomy .

“It enables us to get to a product, to have a channel to work with people,” Singh said. “What they want to do is enable our technology to become an industry standard.”

Near Earth Autonomy makes laser and sensor systems for self-flying aircraft such as drones and helicopters.

In August, Airbus, a top competitor of Boeing, tapped Near Earth Autonomy to provide hardware for Vahana , the self-flying car the company is working on in Silicon Valley.

Singh said the Boeing deal won’t affect his company’s work with Airbus. The deal doesn’t limit who Near Earth Autonomy can work with or what it can do, Singh said.

“Boeing’s partnership with Near Earth Autonomy will accelerate the adoption of its solution as the key to unlocking emerging markets of autonomous flight. Looking at our own capabilities, we see potential across commercial and defense applications as Boeing shapes future mobility,” Boeing HorizonX Vice President Steve Nordlund said in a statement.

The Near Earth Autonomy investment is the first into autonomous systems made by HorizonX since it started in April. HorizonX did invest in C360 Technologies , a 360 video, augmented reality, virtual reality company in Wexford.

Neither Near Earth Autonomy nor Boeing disclosed how large of an investment HorizonX made. Singh said it is a “significant investment” in both in terms of dollars and R&D. The investment amounts to something close to a Series A round of financing, typically a company’s first major round of funding. The investment is the first taken by Near Earth Autonomy.

Singh said the 50-person company is looking to move out of its office in The Design Center in Bloomfield into a larger space, make a few new hires and continue to work on a line of products Near Earth Autonomy hopes to release in the near future.

Boeing and Near Earth Autonomy have worked together in the past. Near Earth Autonomy bolted its laser scanners and sensors onto a Boeing helicopter for a project for the Navy on autonomous aerial cargo systems.

The two companies are currently working with the Army to redesign its surveillance drone.

Aaron Aupperlee is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at aaupperlee@tribweb.com, 412-336-8448 or via Twitter @tinynotebook.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.