One of HorizonX’s investments is in a Pittsburgh company called Near Earth Autonomy. The spinoff from Carnegie Mellon University’s Robotics Institute has developed sensing technology that makes driverless aircraft a lot smarter. A company YouTube video shows a drone zipping over a country lane dodging trees and adjusting its course, on its own, without the aid of a global positioning system.
The possibilities of using the technology to improve safety are intriguing, said Steve Nordlund, a Boeing vice president in charge of HorizonX. “We’ll leverage their technology potentially inside the company,” he said. “It’s early but that’s plan.”