Boeing Pursues Autonomy, Acquires Aurora

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Boeing announced on Thursday it plans to acquire Aurora Flight Sciences Corporation, a technology company that specializes in autonomous systems and robotic aircraft. "The combined strength and innovation of our teams will advance the development of autonomy for our commercial and military systems," said Greg Hyslop, chief technology officer and senior vice president of Boeing Engineering, Test & Technology. "Together, these talented teams will open new markets with transformational technologies." Leveraging autonomous systems that include perception, machine learning and advanced flight control systems, Aurora has designed, produced and flown more than 30 unmanned air vehicles since the company was founded in 1989. The company also is a leader in developing electric propulsion for aircraft.

During the last decade, Aurora has collaborated with Boeing on the rapid prototyping of innovative aircraft and structural assemblies for both military and commercial applications. Once acquired, Aurora will be a subsidiary under Boeing Engineering, Test & Technology known as Aurora Flight Sciences, A Boeing Company. Aurora will continue to operate from its headquarters in Manassas, Virginia, as an independent entity, Boeing said, “while benefiting from Boeing's resources and position.” The terms of the agreement were not disclosed. More than 550 people work for Aurora, in six states, including an R&D center near MIT in Cambridge, offices in Ohio, California and Switzerland, and manufacturing facilities in Connecticut, West Virginia and Mississippi.

AVweb spoke with Aurora CEO John Langford in April when he was attending the Uber Elevate conference; click here for that interview.

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