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article imageBoeing teams with AI company SparkCognition to form new division

By Karen Graham     Jul 17, 2018 in Technology
Farnborough - Day Two of the Farnborough Airshow started off with Boeing announcing it is collaborating with artificial intelligence (AI) technology leader, SparkCognition, to deliver unmanned aircraft system traffic management (UTM) solutions.
To help advance UTM and next-generation travel, and evolve the transportation ecosystem, Boeing is starting up a new organization, Boeing NeXt, the company said in a press release on July 17, 2018.
Boeing NeXt will leverage Boeing's research and development activities and investments in areas such as autonomous flight and advanced propulsion, as well as focus on modeling smart cities and exploring new market opportunities to solve for the transportation challenges of the future.
"We're at a point in history where technological advances and societal trends are converging to demand bold solutions and a different way to travel," said Greg Hyslop, Boeing chief technology officer, reports Forbes. "Boeing has the experience and expertise to safely and efficiently shape this emerging world of travel and transport."
One of the key hurdles NeXt will be looking to develop is an airspace management solution for advanced drones and eVTOL (electrical vertical take-off and landing) aircraft. Hyslop also cited the emerging autonomous market as a reason for creating Boeing NeXt.
Another big focus of Boeing NeXt will be on the advancement of supersonic flight and of eVTOL vehicles for on-demand cargo delivery and urban air travel - think air taxis. This is where machine learning for aircraft guidance and airspace coordination will be playing a major role.
And this is where the partnership with artificial intelligence (AI) company SparkCognition will be valuable. The collaboration will use blockchain technology and AI to develop an air traffic management system to not only track unmanned aircraft but be able to allocate air traffic routes and corridors.
"Estimated by some analysts at $3 trillion, the urban aerial mobility opportunity will lead to the creation of the largest new market in our lifetimes," said Amir Husain, founder, and CEO of SparkCognition.
"The world's number one aviation leader partnering with the world's most innovative industrial AI company means that unparalleled experience in safety, innovation, scale, and reliability will be brought to bear to address this monumental opportunity."
Boeing invested $32 million last month in Austin, Texas-based SparkCognition. With award-winning machine learning technology, a multinational footprint, and expert teams focused on defense, industrial internet of things, and finance, SparkCognition builds AI systems to advance the most important interests of society.
CNBC is reporting that if the Boeing NeXt division is successful, and there is no reason why it won't, it will be hived off as a separate company. It will be led by Steve Nordlund who will continue in his role as vice president of Boeing HorizonX, the firm’s venture capital arm.
More about Boeing, SparkCognition, Artificial intelligence, blockchain, drones and eVTOL
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