CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- Boeing and its subsidiary Aurora Flight Sciences are hoping to advance the design and construction of autonomous aircraft and associated technologies through the establishment of a new facility in Cambridge.
Announced today, the new Boeing Aerospace & Autonomy Center is the first major tenant at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's mixed-use Kendall Square. The center will include 100,000 square feet of research and laboratory space, leased in a new 17-floor building scheduled to open in 2020.
"It's fitting that Boeing will join the Kendall/MIT innovation family," said MIT Provost Martin Schmidt. "Our research interests have been intertwined for over 100 years, and we've worked together to advance world-changing aerospace technologies and systems. Boeing's presence will create an unprecedented opportunity for new synergies in this industry."
The initiative follows the recent creation of Boeing's "NeXt" program, which, with collaboration from artificial technology developer SparkCognition, seeks to develop a "next-generation airspace management system to enable the safe coexistence of piloted and autonomous vehicles."
Aurora Flight Sciences already operates a research facility in Kendall Square, though its employees will move to the new center and operate it on behalf of Boeing once complete.
"By expanding Aurora's 30-year relationship with MIT, and working with Boeing, we are creating a collaborative workspace where engineers, students and researchers can work together can create technologies that will define the next century of air mobility," said John Langford, Aurora founder and chief executive officer.