Boeing exec: Aurora deal will help company stay ahead

November 15, 2017 at 4:35 PM

Boeing's acquisition of Aurora Flight Sciences is already yielding some opportunities to work together, according to Chris Raymond, who oversees Boeing's autonomous systems business within the company's defense group.

Boeing completed its acquisition of Aurora, which specializes in autonomous systems technologies for robotic aircraft, earlier this month.

Speaking to reporters at Boeing's Arlington, VA, office today, Raymond said Boeing purposely kept Aurora aligned under its engineering and technology organization to make use of both its defense and commercial expertise.

"Our view is urban mobility is likely to change and happen, and it's hard to predict when that will fully take root," he said. "It's a when, not an if, and when that day comes, you don't want to be behind."

He said the defense group is already engaging with Aurora's team, noting he spent all day Tuesday at Aurora's office.

"There are already examples where we're jointly pursuing some opportunities," Raymond said.

He also praised Liquid Robotics, which Boeing acquired nearly a year ago. Raymond particularly said the company's Silicon Valley background is proving useful.

"They compete in that area of the country for talent, and they live out there, where there's so much going on in the world of autonomy and machine learning and software," he said.

Boeing, Raymond added, has helped Liquid Robotics in areas like supply chain and manufacturing.

Additionally, "what we've been able to bring to them is they started largely as a commercial company," he said. "What we've been able to bring is customer relationships and channels that they wouldn't have had on their own."