The SkyGrid software platform will allow drone operators to manage air traffic for tasks like package delivery, industrial inspections and emergency assistance.

Boeing to Co-Develop Air-Traffic Control for Drones

Nov. 20, 2018
SparkCognition joint effort will combine AI and blockchain technologies with traffic routing, data analytics, and cybersecurity functions

Boeing Co. offered an outline of its planned venture with SparkCognition, the "machine learning" business with which it announced a collaborative effort last July. Together, they will launch SkyGrid, which will develop a software platform for coordinating and integrating air traffic for autonomous (drone) air-cargo and passenger air vehicles.

Boeing, through its HorizonX Ventures investment arm, previously invested in SparkCognition to support its development of a cognitive, data-driven analytics platform for the safety, security and reliability of data technology.

The SkyGrid platform will use blockchain technology, AI-enabled dynamic traffic routing, data analytics, and cybersecurity functions so customers may direct and guide unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) and manage unmanned aircraft traffic management (UTM).

At the time of their July announcement, Boeing described the urban aerial mobility sector as a $3 trillion market.

"The Boeing and SparkCognition partnership is unmatched in industry today," stated Steve Nordlund, vice president and general manager of Boeing NeXt, the OEM’s business unit dedicate to developing "urban, regional and global mobility" technologies. "SkyGrid is building the digital infrastructure that will make safe, seamless commercial and personal transport possible for billions of people around the world," he continued.

"By offering scalable and robust capabilities in a single, integrated framework, SkyGrid will make large-scale air vehicle applications more practical and accessible," offered Husain, who will serve as CEO of SkyGrid in addition to his role as founder and CEO of SparkCognition.

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