Pittsburgh-based Near Earth Autonomy to develop autonomous system for large-scale helicopters

Pittsburgh-based Near Earth Autonomy announced plans to develop an intelligent autonomy system for a large-scale helicopter.

Near Earth Autonomy received funding from the Naval Air Systems Command for the project, but Near Earth Autonomy CEO Sanjiv Singh declined to disclose the amount. The company partnered with Kaman Aerospace to development the system, initially designed for the K-MAX helicopter, which can carry 6,000 pound payloads.

Singh said developing this kind of autonomous system will provide applications across other large aircrafts that take off and land vertically. He said there’s particular interest in this kind of autonomous air transportation in large metropolitan areas.

For humans passengers, Singh said the self-flying aircrafts would be able to quickly get people from point to point in large cities where driving has become difficult and takes, in some cases, a few hours. For cargo, Singh said the developments could mean things like increased same-day delivery.