Autonomous vehicles are increasingly becoming a reality. And it’s not just cars, aerial autonomous flying space is attracting a lot of attention and investments as well! HorizonX, the venture capital arm of Boeing, recently made an undisclosed sum of investment in Near Earth Autonomy. Boeing spokesperson, Megan Hilfer, indicated the investments is a few million dollars.
The Pittsburg-based startup, a Carnegie Mellon Robotics Institute offshoot, develops technology for autonomous aerial vehicles.
Through HorizonX, Boeing has already made investments in some startups since it came into existence in April this year. These include C360 (VR and AR), SparkCognition (AI and IoT), Upskill (AR), and Zunum Aero (Hybrid electric airplanes).
New Earth Autonomous Flying Tech
Near Earth specializes in collision avoidance, environment mapping to help aircraft navigate even without GPS, and so on. The technology will be useful for different types of autonomous vehicles such as drones for cargo delivery, flying taxis for transportation, combat aircrafts for defense operations, aircrafts for site inspection and exploring dangerous terrain. The company has demonstrated technology for small aircrafts such as octocopter drones to big, heavy-duty autonomous defense helicopters.
Interestingly, Near Earth Autonomy inked a deal to supply hardware for Vahana flying car from Airbus, Boeing’s biggest rival. New Earth has clarified that Boeing’s investment will in no way affect the deal with Airbus. This, however, stamps Near Earth’s solid capabilities in autonomous flying tech.
Sanjiv Singh, CEO of Near Earth, sounded excited at Boeing’s investment and partnership. He said that the investment will speed up the company’s tech development and help build robust autonomous flying tech.
Further demonstrating the faith it has in Near Earth capabilities, Boeing has also entered into a partnership with the company.