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News Link • Transportation: Air Travel

Boeing advances autonomous flight aspirations with Aurora acquisition

•, Nick Lavars

Following the launch of its US$2 million personal flying machine contest, the company will acquire Aurora Flight Sciences, a company recently enlisted to work on Uber's flying taxi project.

Virginia-based Aurora focuses on building autonomous, electric propulsion aircraft, and its work in the area has attracted interest from some pretty big names. In 2016, DARPA awarded the company a contract to help develop its electric VTOL X-Plane. Then earlier in the year, Uber signed it up to work on its Uber Elevate Network, a bold scheme to add VTOL flying taxis to its on-demand transport service.

And it appears Boeing also likes what it sees. The pair have previously collaborated on prototyping for commercial and military applications, but now the aerospace giant is bringing Aurora's services entirely in-house. It hopes the acquisition will speed up its development of autonomous, electric flying machines.

"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 and Technology. "Together, these talented teams will open new markets with transformational technologies."

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