All-electric and autonomous aircraft – and all-electric, autonomous aircraft, for that matter – are the future of aviation. On this point, technology leaders, industry analysts, and aviation pundits agree; yet, there has been little consensus on which companies would be leading the charge.
In all honesty, I have been hoping for something similar to the so-called “dot-com gold rush” in which the market was flooded with newcomers (start-ups), industry veterans, and everyone in between. A market rich with hundreds of different visions, designs, and technologies. Over time, of course, the cream would rise to the top. Mergers and acquisitions. Yadda, yadda, yadda... Travelers everywhere are saving time, money, and the planet.
Image: Zunum Aero in Seattle
What seems to be coming to fruition, however, is more akin to what’s happening in the autonomous vehicle (AV) market with driverless automobiles, a.k.a. self-driving cars. That is, from what I can see, large automotive manufacturers hand-picking technology partners from across a variety of industries. And that’s good, too. In fact, that’s fantastic.
I wish Boeing and its partners – and all other contenders for the all-electric and/or autonomous aircraft crown or a seat onboard – much success. If you haven’t yet heard what Boeing’s been up to recently (including investment in what Forbes thinks could be the “Tesla of aircraft”), you can get up to speed here, in "Boeing to advance autonomous, all-electric technology capabilities with Aurora Flight Sciences acquisition."
Agree with my assessment? Disagree? Involved in bringing all-electric or autonomous aircraft to the skies? Anxious to fly in one, like an autonomous taxi? I want to hear all about it! You can find me chatting in the Intelligent Aerospace group on LinkedIn (https://www.linkedin.com/groups/4476245) and Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/intelligentaerospace/).
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