VISIONAIRY Take-off Talk with Jan-Hendrik Boelens

Photo: Sebastian Süß & Jan-Hendrik Boelens

You have been active in the aerospace industry in management positions for many years. What has changed most technologically in recent years? There has been enormous technological progress in many areas of our daily lives, but these innovations have often not found their way into aviation. The development of electric vehicles, the increase in performance of small electronic devices such as smartphones, the network-enabling of digital devices and processes (IoT), and the embedding of AI systems in everyday applications, are just a few examples. It is extremely exciting to see innovative startups like Spleenlab, apply these innovations to create new applications in aerospace.

What excites you most about "new mobility" as opposed to "classic aviation" and where do you see the greatest potential? Most of us only come into contact with aviation once per year, when we fly to our holiday destinations. I am convinced that new technologies can be used to develop solutions that will play a more significant and ubiquitous role in our everyday lives. Air taxis that are affordable for the majority of people would be a good example of such an improvement of everyday life.

What impact will artificial intelligence have on the entire sector in the coming years? You only have to look at the rapid development of AI in self-driving cars: These have achieved impressive results in recent years. It is not hard to imagine the types of solutions this technology could enable in the (urban) air mobility sector in the future. The argument that there are no regulations for this (yet) should not be an excuse for slowing the pace of innovation: Safety regulations are generally the result of practical experience with a technology. We need to demonstrate that AI-systems can be used to engineer safe and reliable solutions.

Which role will Spleenlab play in this? As Spleenlab is one of the few players who have safety designed into the core of its AI solutions, it has great prerequisites to become a market leader in this segment. I am happy to be a part of this journey as a member of their advisory board.

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