Self-governing air travel start-up Xwing secured a $10 million funding round prior to COVID-19 hit. Now the San Francisco-based startup is utilizing the capital to work with skill and scale the development of its software stack as it goes for business operations later this year– pending FAA approvals.
The business revealed Wednesday its Series A funding round, which was led by R7 Partners, with participation from early-stage VC Alven, Eniac Ventures and Thales Corporate Ventures. Xwing has already hired several key executives with that fresh injection of capital, including Terrafugia’s former co-founder and COO Anna Dietrich, and Ed Lim, a Lockheed Martin and Aurora Flight Sciences veteran who more recently led guidance navigation and control for Uber’s autonomous car division along with Zipline’s AV delivery drone.
Xwing is different from a few of the other autonomous aviation start-ups that have actually turned up in the last few years. The start-up isn’t developing autonomous helicopters and aircrafts. Rather, it’s focused on the software stack that will make it possible for pilotless flight of little passenger aircraft.
Xwing is also aircraft agnostic. The business’s engineers are focused on the crucial functions of autonomous flight, such as picking up, thinking and control. The software stack, which is designed to work across various kinds of airplane, is integrated into existing aerospace systems. That strategy of retrofitting existing aircraft will speed up release, while maintaining security and keeping expenses in check, according to creator and CEO Marc Piette. It also is a straighter course towards regulatory approval.
“It’s more efficient for us to not constrain ourselves to a provided vehicle and to develop technology that is considered more of an enabler– from a marketing perspective– than going full stack, Piette said when asked if Xwing would ever attempt to build a self-governing airplane from the ground up.
Considering that Xwing’s last funding round– $4 million in summertime 2018– the business has actually been establishing its tech and dealing with the FAA to get flight certification for pilotless airplane. When authorized, the company will seek to advertise pilotless flights.
The startup hasn’t called any business partners. And Piette hasn’t provided details about its industrial technique either, although he said to expect more announcements this year.
Xwing is currently working with Bell for NASA’s Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS in the NAS) program, an initiative indicated to grow the crucial remaining innovations that are needed to integrate unmanned aircraft in U.S. airspace. The program prepares to hold presentation flights this summer.
Article curated by RJ Shara from Source. RJ Shara is a Bay Area Radio Host (Radio Jockey) who talks about the startup ecosystem – entrepreneurs, investments, policies and more on her show The Silicon Dreams. The show streams on Radio Zindagi 1170AM on Mondays from 3.30 PM to 4 PM.