Australia will be home to Boeing’s largest autonomous systems development program outside of the United States following a new partnership agreement with the Queensland Government.
Over the next three years, the rapid innovation program will see Boeing develop next-generation autonomous systems capability in Australia to increase the independent operation of air and sea vehicles.
Chris Raymond, Boeing vice president and general manager, Autonomous Systems, said the Queensland program formed part of Boeing’s global growth strategy to accelerate game-changing autonomous technology for commercial and defence systems.
“As autonomy becomes increasingly common, Boeing will continue to pioneer autonomous technologies from seabed to space – setting a new standard for safe, successful missions that amplify human capabilities,” said Raymond.
Shane Arnott, director, Boeing’s Phantom Works International business in Australia, said, “The Queensland Government’s clear vision to invest in cutting-edge industries is backed by a progressive air space regulator, the state’s innovation culture and a talented network of local suppliers – creating an outstanding environment to innovate and experiment with autonomous vehicles and the systems and sensors that drive them.”
“Boeing will work with small-to-medium sized Queensland businesses to develop transformative ‘brain-on-board’ technology. Our program will complement the work undertaken by the Trusted Autonomous Systems Defence Cooperative Research Centre, taking research outcomes and developing them into exportable commercial products for the global autonomous market.”
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the investment would contribute to Queensland’s long-term economic growth, global commercial opportunities and local job creation.
“There could be no more fitting way to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Boeing’s partnership with Queensland than today’s announcement,” the premier said.
“The 131 jobs that will come with this autonomous vehicles program will grow Boeing’s Queensland workforce – and these are truly jobs of the future.
“Boeing has a proven track record of working with innovative Queensland businesses, a relationship that supports the growth of highly skilled jobs under this new program.
“Partnerships like this are only possible because of my government’s determination to foster new and highly skilled industries in Queensland – it’s why we have our $513 million Advance Queensland Initiative, and why last year we launched our Drone Strategy.”
Boeing’s first Advance Queensland partnership with the Queensland Government has proven to be a winning formula. The broad area UAS situational awareness system developed by Boeing in partnership with Queensland businesses was exported to the United States in late 2017 and successfully completed its first flight test in Mississippi on January 2018.