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Boeing buys Aurora, maker of autonomous robotic aircraft

Are self-driving commercial planes in our near future?


Boeing is looking to bulk up its autonomous technology. 

Aurora Flight Sciences

Boeing is dipping its toes in the drone business. 

The airplane maker said on Friday that it's acquiring Aurora Flight Sciences, which develops autonomous systems and robotic aircrafts. 

Aurora will give Boeing a shot in the arm when it comes to developing autonomous technology for aerospace vehicles. The company already has a portfolio of autonomous aircrafts and has worked with the military on vehicles that specialize in vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL). 

Boeing is the latest company to dabble in autonomous vehicles. Others include Uber and Google with cars, and Facebook with cellular signal-providing aircrafts. 

Terms of the deal were not provided. Aurora, based in Manassas, Virginia, will operate as an independent unit once the deal is closed.