The Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) is launching a Jacksonville, Fla., chapter that is focused on unmanned and robotic vehicle systems, such as drones, driverless cars, and unmanned boats and submarines.
The Jacksonville Satellite Chapter, which will be part of AUVSI’s long-established Florida Peninsula Chapter, will build awareness and dialogue about unmanned systems among the region’s defense, civil, commercial, academic and government sectors.
“Jacksonville’s proximity to the Atlantic Ocean and its location on the St. Johns River makes it ideally suited for collaboration between air, sea and ground automation interests,” says Brian Wynne, president and CEO of AUVSI. “Another important reason for starting a chapter in Jacksonville is the ongoing federal investment in cutting-edge technology at Naval Station Mayport and Naval Air Station Jacksonville, which is creating opportunities for public-private partnerships.”
“The formation of a satellite chapter on the First Coast is very timely and exciting considering the influx of high-tech companies to the area,” adds Brent Klavon, a Jacksonville resident who is the president of AUVSI’s Florida Peninsula Chapter and a member of AUVSI’s board of directors.
David Meyers, an unmanned aircraft system (UAS) industry executive, will lead the new satellite chapter as interim director.
“After my first $30 drone to my very first professional UAS, I have been enamored with the capabilities of autonomous systems and robotics,” Meyers says. “As the industry continues to grow along with the capabilities of artificial intelligence and the exponential growth of robotic solutions, I am humbled and honored to educate my home city, Jacksonville, Fla., about this exciting technology and help lead it to become a center for the industry.”