Aerospace industry giant Boeing and Austin-based artificial intelligence company SparkCognition have teamed up to create a new company they say will ensure the safe integration of autonomous aircraft.
The new company, SkyGrid, will be based in Austin and develop a software platform powered by artificial intelligence and blockchain technology to facilitate the “integration of autonomous cargo craft and passenger air vehicles,” Boeing and SparkCognition said in a news release Tuesday.
“The Boeing and SparkCognition partnership is unmatched in industry today,” said Steve Nordlund, vice president and general manager of Boeing NeXt. “SkyGrid is building the digital infrastructure that will make safe, seamless commercial and personal transport possible for billions of people around the world.”
SparkCognition founder and CEO Amir Husain will serve as CEO of SkyGrid in addition to his current roles at SparkCognition.
“By offering scalable and robust capabilities in a single, integrated framework, SkyGrid will make large-scale air vehicle applications more practical and accessible,” Husain said.
SkyGrid, which is expected to launch soon, will be made up of a small team in Austin. The two companies chose to launch SkyGrid here because of the city’s tech scene, according to Husain.
“SkyGrid’s launch in Austin today and Boeing’s involvement in our city is of a similar gravity as when IBM brought IT to Austin back in 1967,” Husain said. “Austin’s unique mix of academic excellence, engineering talent, and artistic expression is a potent force that can and will change the world.”
And it’s not the first time Boeing has expressed interested in SparkCognition.
The move comes four months after the two companies announced they would partner on a project to manage tens of millions of autonomous aircrafts globally — an effort to unify the world’s airspace systems and make way for everything from delivery drones to on-demand urban air travel.
And in 2017, The Boeing Company’s investment arm, Boeing HorizonX, participated in a $32.5 million venture investment in SparkCognition. Verizon Ventures was the lead investor in the deal, with participation from Boeing HorizonX.
This article provided by NewsEdge.