Boeing to test autonomous drones in Australia

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Boeing is to site the development of its latest autonomous drone research program in Queensland, Australia.

The US aircraft manufacturer’s “rapid innovation program” will be its largest autonomous drone test and development program in the world and create 131 jobs in the region over the next three years. The program will see the development of autonomous systems enabling technologies for commercial and defence drones.

Boeing recently developed its broad area UAS situational awareness system – which remotely detects and tracks other aircraft in the vicinity of a drone – in the Australian state of Queensland with local government funding. The technology developed by the project was sent to the USA in late 2017 and successfully flight tested in Mississippi in January 2018.

Shane Arnott, director of Boeing’s Phantom Works International business in Australia, said,  “Boeing will work with small-to-medium sized Queensland businesses to develop transformative technology. Our program will complement the work undertaken by the Trusted Autonomous Systems Defence Cooperative Research Centre (CRC), taking research outcomes and developing them into exportable commercial products for the global autonomous market.”

Chris Raymond, Boeing’s vice president and general manager of autonomous systems, said, “As autonomy becomes increasingly common, Boeing will continue to pioneer autonomous technologies from seabed to space – setting a new standard for safe, successful missions that amplify human capabilities.”

March 2, 2018

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Ben has worked as a journalist and editor, covering almost all aspects of technology, engineering and industry for the last 20 years. Initially writing about subjects from nuclear submarines to autonomous cars to future design and manufacturing technologies, he was editor of a leading UK-based engineering magazine before eventually becoming editor of Aerospace Testing in 2017.

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