Tests point to retrofittable autonomous drive systems for legacy British Army vehicles
ABD Solutions provided its retrofittable autonomous driving system for use with NP Aerospace in a recent demonstration of a driverless Wolfhound Tactical Support Vehicle.
The capability was showcased during a recent defence technology innovation day held at the HORIBA-MIRA proving ground in the UK, with NP Aerospace COO David Petheram describing ‘very positive’ feedback.
ABD Solutions stated that its vehicle-agnostic solution — comprising vehicle control robots, object detection and reaction systems and mission planning software — ‘provides any vehicle with a traditional steering wheel and pedal set up with autonomous capabilities’ that are simple to install.
Leader-follower algorithms, object detection capabilities and drive-by-wire teleoperation technology enable a single driver to platoon (operate multiple vehicles in convoy). The automated vehicles can also be precisely controlled to carry out simulated training exercises.
MD Matthew Price commented: ‘The defence industry wants to accelerate the autonomy of its vehicles as it has significant safety and cost benefits. One of the key challenges is maximising the substantial investment already made in the current fleet. Our product enables these legacy vehicles to be automated, today.’
Wolfhound is used to provide protection for frontline patrols and carry supplies such as water and ammunition. In addition to the autonomous driving tests, the vehicle is being used by the UK MoD as a test platform for a C-UAS laser weapon under the Novel Weapons Programme.
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