BRISBANE, Australia -- Boeing has successfully completed a series of synchronized unmanned aerial vehicle flight test using new on-board autonomous command and control technologies.
The test included five UAVs, all of which completed their programmed missions without assistance from a human pilot.
Boeing said the test marks a significant milestone, coming just six months after the company established an autonomous systems development program in Queensland.
"What we've created here in Australia has the potential to transform the use of unmanned vehicles for civil, commercial and defense applications -- whether that be in the air, on the ground or out at sea," said Shane Arnott, director of Boeing Phantom Works International.
The quick fruits of Boeing's labor were made possible in large part through partnerships with a number of businesses in the region that translated to nearly US$1.7 million in contracts spread across 14 Queensland businesses.
"By safely teaming unmanned systems with human operated systems, we keep people away from dull, dirty and dangerous tasks so they can focus on activities that machines can't or shouldn't do," Arnott said.
The company said it will perform more advanced tests in the coming months.
In addition to its work UAV in Australia, Boeing announced earlier this month that it is establishing a new autonomous flight research and development center at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Kendall Square complex in Cambridge, Mass.
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