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Boeing, SparkCognition partner on safe integration of autonomous air vehicles in airspace

Boeing (NYSE:BA) and SparkCognition, an artificial intelligence (AI) technology company in Austin, Texas, are collaborating on unmanned aircraft system (UAS) traffic management (UTM) solutions that leverage AI and blockchain technologies to track unmanned air vehicles in flight and allocate traffic corridors and routes to ensure safe, secure transportation.
"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," predicts Amir Husain, founder and CEO of SparkCognition. “Unparalleled experience in safety, innovation, scale, and reliability will be brought to bear to address this monumental opportunity." 
The partnership will also facilitate the development of a standardized programming interface to support package delivery, industrial inspection, and other commercial applications.
Boeing is forming Boeing NeXt, a new organization to help advance UTM and next-generation travel, and evolve the transportation ecosystem, officials say. It 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.
Boeing, SparkCognition partner on next-gen airspace management, safe integration of autonomous air vehicles

"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," Boeing Chief Technology Officer Greg Hyslop says. "Boeing has the experience and expertise to safely and efficiently shape this emerging world of travel and transport. Through Boeing NeXt, we intend to build on our legacy of opening up new frontiers to move people and goods with proven technologies."
Boeing is pursuing technology development in emerging fields, including AI and hybrid and fully electric propulsion, that will help ensure safe, efficient flight.
"By taking a holistic approach that combines Boeing's strength in technological innovation with new business models and nontraditional partnerships, we are laying the foundation for the future commercial mobility ecosystem," adds Steve Nordlund, who will lead Boeing NeXt in addition to his role as vice president of Boeing HorizonX. "We are shaping the physical and connectivity infrastructure to ensure new air vehicles safely operate in the global air space."

Boeing HorizonX Ventures previously invested in SparkCognition to support development of a cognitive, data-driven analytics platform for the safety, security, and reliability of data technology.
The Boeing NeXt portfolio will include the recently unveiled passenger-carrying hypersonic concept, as well as electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) vehicles that will provide on-demand cargo transport and urban air travel in the future mobility ecosystem.
Boeing, SparkCognition partner on next-gen airspace management, safe integration of autonomous air vehicles

SparkCognition builds AI systems to advance the most important interests of society, helping customers analyze complex data, empower decision making, and transform human and industrial productivity.
Boeing is a leading aerospace company and manufacturer of commercial jetliners and defense, space, and security systems. A top U.S. exporter, the company supports airlines and U.S. and allied government customers in more than 150 countries. Boeing products and tailored services include commercial and military aircraft, satellites, weapons, electronic and defense systems, launch systems, advanced information and communication systems, and performance-based logistics and training.

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Courtney E. Howard is editorial director and content strategist at SAE International, Aerospace Products Group. Contact her by e-mail at
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