Two pioneers in the application of AI and machine learning in aviation announced a strategic collaboration to enhance safety and time-to-market through a harmonized certification approach
PRESS RELEASE: November 29, 2023 - San Francisco and Zurich
Xwing, a leading supplier of modular autonomy technology for aviation, and Daedalean AG, a leading developer of safety-critical and certifiable Artificial Intelligence (AI) systems for situational awareness and flight control, yesterday announced a formal collaboration to share data, knowledge, and processes in the field of machine learning and artificial intelligence to accelerate time-to-market and enhance safety.
Xwing and Daedalean are working closely with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the European Union Aviation and Safety Agency (EASA) to certify their software. No machine learning (ML) based safety-critical applications have made their way into the cockpit of civil aviation so far – this requires a paradigm shift in how software and hardware have traditionally been assessed and certified as safe. Aviation regulators have been working on how machine learning fits into their design assurance processes and how to adjust the respective standards. Both companies believe that forming a consensus on their assurance approaches and sharing information is the best way to advance the development of certification standards that will allow an increase in safety more effectively than if they worked separately.
“In this emerging industry, it’s as crucial to collaborate with fellow pioneers as it is to partner with regulators around the world,” said Luuk van Dijk, co-founder and CEO of Daedalean, “With this shared undertaking, we will be able to demonstrate that increasing safety is driving innovation and that a collaborative approach to harmonize regulations and standards ensures that best practices are universally adopted.”
Both Xwing and Daedalean have published industry-leading and award-winning papers that outline their approaches to certification, for example, Xwing’s Formal and Practical Elements for the Certification of Machine Learning Systems and Daedalean’s Concepts of Design Assurance for Neural Networks series. The partnership will enable regulators to benefit from the companies’ well-aligned approaches and drive progress toward the establishment of an acceptable means of compliance.
“At Xwing, we balance our commitment to a strong safety culture with our push for technical innovation,“ said Maxime Gariel, President and CTO of Xwing, “Our collaboration with Daedalean underscores this philosophy and the importance we place on sharing data, knowledge, and processes to inform a credible path forward toward certification for the industry as a whole as we work closely with regulators.”
While Daedalean and Xwing have independently developed frameworks for the certification of AI-based systems, both companies agree that higher levels of safety can be achieved on a shorter timeline by sharing knowledge and relevant flight data so that all stakeholders – industry, regulators, and the public – can make significant progress on the path to certifying AI systems.
Xwing is the industry's leading supplier of modular autonomy technology for aviation. Our adaptable systems are designed to seamlessly integrate with a wide range of aircraft, providing the ability to safely operate ground-supervised, uncrewed aircraft in any airspace. Xwing’s autonomous flight system brings aviation into a new autonomous era.
We collaborate with cutting-edge aircraft manufacturers to integrate autonomous flight capabilities into their product offerings. This empowers operators to tackle missions that would otherwise be unattainable, impractical, or cost-prohibitive with traditional piloted operations. From logistics to aerial firefighting, Xwing’s certifiable solution provides safety and flexibility, unlocking new possibilities.
As the first, and only company, certifying a large, uncrewed aircraft system (UAS) with the FAA, Xwing is at the forefront of enabling autonomous operations throughout all flight stages, without the need for a pilot onboard. Our use of AI is targeted to specific applications that maximize the safety and needed redundancy of our system.
Founded in 2016, Xwing is based in Northern California with offices in San Francisco and Concord, CA.
Daedalean is building machine-learning-based avionics systems for the civil aircraft of today and the advanced aerial mobility of tomorrow. Founded in 2016, the company has offices in Switzerland, the EU, and the US. The team of 150+ people, including 15 PhDs and 19 pilots, possesses expertise in machine learning, aviation-grade software and computing hardware engineering, flight testing, safety assessment, and certification.
Daedalean, in collaboration with Avidyne, is working to certify and bring to the market the first certified product for General Aviation: Pilot Eye™, a visual traffic detection source capable of detecting non-cooperative traffic.
Applications developed by Daedalean include non-GNSS positioning and navigation, landing guidance for fixed-wing aircraft, and vertical landing guidance for rotor aircraft.
The company has established partnerships with aviation regulators and published joint reports with EASA and the FAA, paving the way for the certification of machine-learning systems for safety-critical aviation applications.