Swiss startup Daedalean, a developer of software for autonomous flight control, vision-based navigation, terrain guidance and landing, and Honeywell, a leader in the aerospace industry for avionics hardware, have announced that they have entered into a join technological and financial partnership. This partnerships facilitates cooperation between the two companies as they endeavor to develop fully autonomous AI pilots for general aviation and aerial mobility operations. While AI pilots are the ultimate goal for these two companies, their current hardware solution bridges the gap between fully crewed and complete autonomous flight decks.
The partnership is two-pronged: Honeywell Ventures has joined the Swiss startup’s pool of investors (terms and quantity of investment still unknown) and Honeywell and Daedalean plan to engage in joint testing and technological partnership to develop solutions for autonomous takeoff, landing and GPS-independent navigation and collision avoidance for GA aircraft and aerial mobility aircraft as well.
Luuk van Dijk, founder and CEO of Daedalean, stated that “Developing flight control software requires lots of flight data. That’s why the collaboration with prominent industry partners such as Honeywell is critical for us to speed up the development of our technology. We are preparing for the joint flights testing our solutions for various types of aircraft, and excited to carry out trials on the planes we haven’t tried before.”
This partnership aims to effectively solve the flight controls hurdles that must be overcome in order for the aerial mobility industry to become successful on larger commercial scales than the current charter helicopter industries.
It’s reported that Honeywell’s hardware package is roughly the size of a paperback book.
Daedalean is a Swiss company that has expertise in robotics, computer vision and machine learning. Daedalean intends on using those innovations to advance the flight control methodology and systems architecture for both general aviation and electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft. The key development and IP of this partnership is a flight control systems’ ability to process visual images, similar to human-like situational awareness, which could theoretically simplify pilot operations greatly and allow pilots to focus on the most mission critical decision and Aeronautical Decision making tasks that are required of professional pilots.
Why it’s important: This collaboration leverages the considerable resources of Honeywell and the technical expertise of a niché company like Daedalean. The approach of hybridizing current crewed operations for flight with the ultimate goal of fully autonomous operations will become increasingly popular in the coming years as the aerospace industry finds a medium between a massive operation leap and smaller steps towards an ultimate goal of redefining the typical methods for manned flight operations.
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Source // Inside Unmanned Systems