Boeing partners with Queensland Government to establish autonomous systems development program in Australia

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Boeing has announced a new partnership agreement with the Queensland Government in Australia, which will result in Australia being home to Boeing’s largest autonomous systems development program outside of the U.S.

Over the next three years, Boeing will use the rapid innovation program to develop “next-generation autonomous systems capability” in Australia, in an effort to increase the independent operation of air and sea vehicles.

According to Chris Raymond, Boeing vice president and general manager, Autonomous Systems, 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,” Raymond says.

Shane Arnott, director, Boeing’s Phantom Works International business in Australia, says Boeing will work with small-to-medium sized Queensland businesses to develop “transformative ‘brain-on-board’ technology.” The program will supplement the work undertaken by the Trusted Autonomous Systems Defence Cooperative Research Centre, as research outcomes will be taken and developed into exportable commercial products for the global autonomous market.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk says that the investment by Boeing and the Queensland Government will contribute to Queensland’s long-term economic growth, global commercial opportunities and local job creation. Palaszczuk says that 131 jobs will come with this autonomous vehicles program, which will grow Boeing’s Queensland workforce. Palaszczuk adds that those jobs “are truly jobs of the future.”

This isn’t the first time that Boeing has worked with Queensland businesses, as Boeing, in partnership with Queensland businesses, developed the broad area UAS situational awareness system. The system was exported to the U.S. late last year, and successfully completed its first flight test in Mississippi in January of this year.

“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,” Palaszczuk says.