Boeing and Aurora to move to new MiT office

Boeing Cambridge.jpg

Boeing is planning to open a new aerospace and autonomy centre in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

As part of the plan, Boeing plans to lease 100,000 feet of research and lab space in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s (MiT) new Kendell Square office district.

The 17-floor building at 314 Main Street in which Boeing will be leasing space is scheduled to open in 2020. The new office will house employees from Boeing and its subsidiary Aurora Flight Sciences. Aurora will be operating the office an both businesses will collaborate on designing, building and flying autonomous aircraft.

Greg Hyslop, Boeing’s chief technology officer said: "Boeing is leading the development of new autonomous vehicles and future transportation systems that will bring flight closer to home.

“By investing in this new research facility, we are creating a hub where our engineers can collaborate with other Boeing engineers and research partners around the world and leverage the Cambridge innovation ecosystem."

Boeing fully acquired Aurora Flight Sciences in November last year and is using the new subsidiary primarily to develop an air taxi. Shortly after the acquisition, Aurora partnered with Uber to develop an aircraft for its upcoming UberAir service which is scheduled to launch by 2022.

Aurora was also working with DARPA on the X-Plane VTOL, the experimental unmanned aircraft that was canned by the Pentagon in April this year. Aurora will be using the research and development from the project in its UberAir VTOL.

Boeing NeXt

The businesses housed in the new offices all come under the newly-established Boeing NeXt program. NeXt is a collaborative effort between Boeing and AI technology firm SparkCognition. Boeing decided to partner with the AI company after investing $32 million in the company in June last year.

The program’s main goal is to develop a new airspace management system to accommodate piloted and autonomous vehicles in airspace. NeXt is also in charge of Boeing’s experimental aircraft portfolio – Including Aurora’s VTOL.