Boeing buys into Cortana, AI and cloud to access big data it can use to streamline passenger experience and reduce flight delays for carriers
Aircraft manufacturer Boeing has chosen to move its portfolio of digital services into the Microsoft Azure cloud, with plans to use artificial intelligence and Microsoft’s Cortana personal assistant to boost its business.
“Who should care about this announcement?” asked Nathaniel Crook, Microsoft’s director of enterprise sales in the Pacific Northwest.
“Anyone who has sat on a runway during a maintenance delay for longer than five minutes,” he rhetorically replied.
While we’re sure Microsoft would love to take credit for reducing flight delays, Boeing and Redmond’s cloud collaboration does aim to use Cortana Intelligence and Azure’s IoT suite to work on predictive aircraft maintenance, fuel optimisation, airline systems, and the overall passenger experience.
“Boeing brings in their deep subject matter expertise, complimented by Microsoft’s deep technical expertise, and together we’ll be bringing new, innovative customer solutions to market,” said Andrew Gendreau, the director of advanced information solutions in Boeing’s Digital Aviation division.
As we’ve seen from the Microsoft and General Electric tie up, big data is playing a sizable role in the future of the aviation industry.
Reducing inefficiency is one of the main problem areas of airlines, and flight delays caused by mechanical issues and missing parts are a daily occurrence for thousands of passengers.
With the Microsoft collaboration, Boeing said it hopes to gain access to more information to eliminate potential inefficiencies.
“There is great potential between the connected traveler, the connected airplane and the connected operation, and their interplay,” Gendreau said.
“Globally, airlines spend about $700 billion on operating costs, and there’s about $700 billion in revenue. So airlines are a very competitive business with profitable but narrow margins; leveraging data and analytics not only improves performance and experience, but will give airlines a chance to sustain profitable growth.”