AUGUSTA – A company new to Augusta unveiled an ambitious partnership Thursday aimed at propelling its technology to the front lines of battle.

Bolduc Technology Group is teaming up with aerospace giant Boeing to integrate its “drive-by-wire” technology into military ground vehicles engaged in combat.

The company announced the partnership Thursday at a news conference at its Gabriel Drive headquarters.

Bolduc’s technology allows vehicles including Humvees and pickup trucks to be operated remotely. The vehicles can help with convoys, perimeter security and reconnaissance missions, according to Boeing.

“We’ll be able to bring this into harm’s way and hopefully save the lives of United States soldiers,” said Peggy Berry, director of Boeing’s networks and tactical systems division. “This is the very beginning for us. We hope to do a lot with this technology.”

The technology at the heart of the partnership — known as Advanced Electronic Vehicle Interface Technology, or AEVIT — has been in the works for about 30 years.

Scott Bolduc, founder of Bolduc Technology Group, said he started developing it after a friend of his was paralyzed in a motorcycle accident. He founded the company in Auburn in 1980.

The business introduced its first drive-by-wire system in 1986, and the system became available commercially in 1990. Thousands of the systems have been installed in the vehicles of people with disabilities, according to the company.

The Boeing venture won’t be Bolduc’s first military deal. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, the Department of Defense’s research office, has used Bolduc technology since 1994.

More recently, Bolduc Technology Group has provided its technology to foreign governments and begun work with Boeing. On Thursday, the two companies signed a formal partnership agreement.

“Prior to pursuing any other contracts, this teaming had to be in place,” Bolduc said.

As part of the agreement, Bolduc’s components of the drive-by-wire systems will be manufactured at the company’s Augusta facility and its primary manufacturing facility in Gray. Bolduc said the company might even make use of space at the Brunswick Naval Air Station.

Bolduc Technology Group moved its headquarters to Augusta earlier this year, after an 18-year stint in Baton Rouge, La.

The company has 16 employees, Bolduc said. He said the Boeing deal would lead to more hires, but he didn’t specify how many.

When Boeing began putting its unmanned military vehicle venture in place, the defense contractor found itself working from Bolduc’s drive-by-wire technology.

“We said, ‘We can do it faster, better, cheaper if we use the market leader in drive-by-wire systems,” said Phil Koon, Boeing’s chief engineer for networks and tactical systems and robotics.


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