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Autonomous convoy in urban area demonstrated

30th January 2014 - 16:26 GMT | by The Shephard News Team


Lockheed Martin has taken part in a US Army Tank-Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC) demonstration to show that mixed fleets of fully autonomous convoys have the ability to operate in urban environments.

The demonstration saw driverless tactical vehicles navigating hazards and obstacles such as road intersections, oncoming traffic, stalled and passing vehicles, pedestrians and traffic circles in both urban and rural test areas.

The work is part of the Autonomous Mobility Applique System (AMAS) programme being conducted for the US Army and Marine Corps. This marks the completion of the programme's Capabilities Advancement Demonstration (CAD).

AMAS aims to automate the driving task on current tactical vehicles.  A kit comprised of the Unmanned Mission Module of AMAS, which includes a high performance LIDAR sensor, a second GPS receiver and additional algorithms, can be installed and used on virtually any military vehicle. In this demonstration, the kit was integrated onto the army's M915 trucks and the Palletized Loading System (PLS) vehicle.

David Simon, AMAS program manager, Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control, said: ‘The AMAS CAD hardware and software performed exactly as designed, and dealt successfully with all of the real-world obstacles that a real-world convoy would encounter.’

Bernard Theisen, TARDEC technical manager, added: ‘It was very important that we had representation from the technology, acquisition and user bases, along with our industry partners, here at the CAD. We are very pleased with the results of the demonstration, because it adds substantial weight to the army's determination to get robotic systems into the hands of the warfighter.’

While AMAS is aimed at augmenting the safety and security of human drivers in a convoy mission, the CAD was aimed at completely removing the soldier from the cab.

Lockheed Martin was awarded the AMAS contract in October 2012.

The Shephard News Team


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