US aerospace multinational giant Boeing has announced it is to form a partnership with an artificial intelligence (AI) company to develop pilotless vehicles using blockchain technology, writes Cointelegraph.

Boeing will join up with Texas-based SparkCognition for the project. It has been reported that Boeing has already invested USD 32 million into the company to create the new platform.

The concept is a blockchain-based aerial mobility programme which will allow for unmanned airborne vehicles. Boeing’s press release describes the partnership as one that “will also provide a standardized programming interface to support package delivery, industrial inspection and other commercial applications”.

The project will ultimately focus on the creation of a tracking system for the unmanned vehicles and the allocation of flight corridors. SparkCognition CEO Amir Husain sees the aerospace industry reaching over USD 3 trillion with such developments suggesting, “…the urban aerial mobility opportunity will lead to the creation of the largest new market in our (lifetimes)”.

The announcement is timely as the aviation world currently has its eyes on the world-renowned Farnborough Air Show in the UK which displays the latest developments in the sector. Boeing has been joined by professional services firm Accenture at the show this week in demonstrating a blockchain prototype tailored to aerospace and defense.

In another joint venture, Accenture and French multinational aerospace and defence systems provider Thales have developed a blockchain supply chain system tracking system for the aerospace industry. John Schmidt, global managing director for Accenture’s Aerospace and Defense practice commented:

“Blockchain technology offers a new, elegant and secure way for the industry to track and trace myriad components while deterring counterfeiting and improving maintenance capabilities.”

As part of the prototype system, the two companies have come up with an ingenious method of tracking in addition to the basic “track and trace” system, whereby a “digital twin” is created post-delivery offering an extra confirmation of delivery and a useful additional source of reference for further supply chain projects under development.


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