Boeing Plans Autonomous Aircraft Research Center at MIT

The investment in the new center follows the recent creation of Boeing NeXt, which brings together researchers and projects across the company to shape the future of travel and transport.

Boeing will open its new Boeing Aerospace & Autonomy Center in Cambridge, Mass., becoming the first major tenant of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's new mixed-use district in Kendall Square. The aircraft manufacturer announced it Aug. 1, saying it will lease 100,000 square feet of research and lab space inside a new 17-floor building for a center housing employees from Boeing and subsidiary Aurora Flight Sciences. Their work will be designing, building, and flying autonomous aircraft and developing enabling technologies.

The investment in the new center follows the recent creation of Boeing NeXt, which brings together researchers and projects across the company to shape the future of travel and transport. "Boeing is leading the development of new autonomous vehicles and future transportation systems that will bring flight closer to home," said Greg Hyslop, Boeing's chief technology officer. "By investing in this new research facility, we are creating a hub where our engineers can collaborate with other Boeing engineers and research partners around the world and leverage the Cambridge innovation ecosystem."

MIT's Kendall Square Initiative will include six university-developed buildings to house a blend of lab and research, office, housing, and retail space.

"It's fitting that Boeing will join the Kendall/MIT innovation family," said MIT Provost Martin Schmidt. "Our research interests have been intertwined for over 100 years, and we've worked together to advance world-changing aerospace technologies and systems. MIT's Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics is the oldest program of its kind in the United States and excels at its mission of developing new air transportation concepts, autonomous systems, and small satellites through an intensive focus on cutting-edge education and research. Boeing's presence will create an unprecedented opportunity for new synergies in this industry."

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