Airbus is exploring the potential of using technology from lidar tech company Luminar to augment the sensing capabilities of aircraft.
The companies are starting with a helicopter demonstrator project unveiled in April.
The collaboration with Airbus UpNext, the future-looking subsidiary of the aviation giant, marks Luminar's first effort beyond the automotive industry.
While there are no plans for production yet, Airbus believes the sensors may provide pilots with a better understanding of nearby obstacles.
For Luminar, Airbus represented an established partner.
For Airbus, the lidar maker represented a chance to inject innovation at startup speed.
"It's an industry that has been working with legacy technology from a sensing standpoint," Luminar CEO Austin Russell said.
"They haven't seen any kind of breakthrough in decades. If you can leverage all the stuff we're doing for the autonomous vehicle world and directly apply it there, which you can in this case, it makes total sense."