Bell Helicopter signs deal with Garmin for urban air travel collaboration

BELL HELICOPTER has signed an agreement with Garmin International related to the development and integration of a autonomous vehicle management computer for its VTOL aircraft, seen above as an air taxi. / COURTESY TEXTRON
BELL HELICOPTER has signed an agreement with Garmin International related to the development and integration of a autonomous vehicle management computer for its VTOL aircraft, seen above as an air taxi. / COURTESY TEXTRON

PROVIDENCE – Bell Helicopter, a Textron Inc. subsidiary, signed a teaming agreement with Garmin International Inc. on the development and integration of autonomous vehicle management computer systems to support Bell’s vertical take-off and landing aircraft, the company announced Tuesday.

The product will be intended for urban air travel as an air taxi, the company noted.

“At Bell, we believe a convergence of technological advancements is enabling the industry to drive solutions that will bring viable urban air transportation to our everyday lives in a way that is safe, quiet, convenient and affordable,” said Bell’s Scott Drennan, vice president of innovation. “This collaboration with Garmin brings us even closer to achieving our goal. There is still work to be done to operationalize on-demand mobility in the vertical dimension, but we believe the future is real, possible and very close to becoming a reality.”

The Dallas Business Journal reported that the project is related to Bell’s collaboration with the rideshare company Uber Technologies Inc.

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