MITRE Technology Earns Top R&D Honors

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McLean, Va. and Bedford, Mass., November 17, 2017—For the second time, a MITRE-developed technology earned an R&D 100 Award, one of the world’s most prestigious invention and innovation recognitions.

MITRE's Digital Copilot™, a low-cost capability designed to improve aviation safety, also received R&D Magazine's coveted Editor's Choice Award, presented to only five of the R&D 100 winners—one in each of the award program's five categories. Digital Copilot™ won the award in the Software and Services category.

The awardees were announced on November 17, at an awards gala held at this year's R&D 100 Conference in Orlando. Sponsored by R&D Magazine, the 2017 awards recognized the 100 most revolutionary technologies introduced into the marketplace in 2016, as identified by a panel of more than 50 judges representing Research and Development leaders in a variety of fields from 10 different countries. Digital Copilot™ competed with entries from 14 nations and 33 U.S. states.

"The entire team is honored to have received this prestigious recognition for their work. I'm really proud of everyone on the team who has worked on this project for the last year and a half and are continuing to enhance this potentially game-changing capability," said MITRE's Matt Pollack, who led the Digital Copilot™ development team.

About Digital Copilot™

Digital Copilot is a set of capabilities developed to increase safety among General Aviation pilots, the majority of whom fly solo. Statistics show that single-pilot operations are riskier than two-pilot flights due to the high workload associated with flying an airplane solo. Without a copilot to look up needed information, crosscheck decisions, and provide a second pair of eyes in the cockpit, there are a lot of competing demands for the single pilot's attention, and losing situation awareness can be a precursor to an accident.

MITRE developed the Digital Copilot™ technology to fulfill many of the roles of a human copilot through a set of software algorithms that acts as a cognitive assistant to the solo pilot, reducing the pilot's workload. Digital Copilot™ can respond to spoken commands, look up information and provide it in a variety of formats, and infer the pilot's intent based on the flight context. It then determines when information is required and automatically provides it to the pilot at the appropriate times through a simple, intuitive speech-based interface. Its platform is the portable technology many pilots already own and use—their smartphones and tablets—so it is a low-cost means of obtaining added decision support and situation awareness.

Since MITRE's goal in developing Digital Copilot™ was to advance GA safety, in 2016 the company released the technology for licensing, allowing software companies to incorporate these new ideas into their existing or planned systems. To date, several organizations have obtained licensing for the technology, and several more have requested such licensing.

About The MITRE Corporation

At MITRE, we work across government, industry and academia to tackle difficult problems that challenge the safety, stability and wellbeing of our nation. As a public interest company, we strive to earn the trust of our sponsors so that we may have greater impact for public good and achieve our mission to solve problems for a safer world.

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