CEO Boeing envisions autonomous technology coming to commercial aircraft

(Bloomberg Opinion) — The chief executive of Boeing Co. says that without a doubt autonomous planes will debut in commercial aviation, the question is when.

Autonomous flight technology the manufacturer is developing for military applications will eventually appear in commercial aircraft, Dave Calhoun said in a Bloomberg TV interview.

“Autonomy will finally come to all aircraft,” Calhoun said on the sidelines of an event commemorating the final delivery of his iconic 747 jumbo jet. “The future of autonomy is real for civil aviation,” he said.

Boeing’s next iconic design could come from its partnership with NASA to test a prototype plane with a new wing design that Calhoun says could lead to up to a 30% improvement in fuel efficiency over jetliners. current generation narrow fuselage, such as the 737 Max. Boeing and NASA target test flights in 2028 for what Calhoun said he hopes could become the successor to the 737.

“Now we have to show that it can be marketed,” said the CEO. “We hope to prove to ourselves that this type of technology can make it to market.”

Calhoun also said his company is taking advantage of layoffs at technology companies, including Amazon.com Inc. and Microsoft Corp., to bolster its ranks of skilled workers. “We had 15,000 hires last year. We will have another 10,000 this year,” she said, adding that “many” of the software engineers being hired come from Amazon.

Original Note: Boeing CEO Sees Self-Flying Tech Coming to Commercial Aircraft

–With the collaboration of Guy Johnson and Julie Johnsson.

More stories like this are available on bloomberg.com

©2023 Bloomberg L.P.

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