Lockheed Martin awarded contract for autonomous vehicle technology
Lockheed Martin has announced that it will develop, integrate and test the Autonomous Mobility Appliqué System (AMAS) for US land force tactical vehicles. The $11 million contract was announced on 24 October.
The contract, awarded by the US Department of Defense through its Other Transaction Agreement with the Robotics Technology Consortium, will see the multiplatform AMAS kit integrated into the tactical vehicles to assist drivers or enable autonomous operation in convoys.
The AMAS uses low cost sensors and control systems, and does not interfere with drivers who choose to operate their vehicle manually. It adds a sensing and control function that alerts users so they can rapidly react to safety threats.
Scott Greene, vice president of ground vehicles in Lockheed Martin’s Missiles and Fire Control business, said: ‘Driving tactical vehicles in a combat zone can be dangerous, but AMAS will help by giving drivers an automated option to alert, stop and adjust, or take full control under user supervision. We pioneered this technology and have logged more than 16,000 miles with it on several platforms. AMAS is a concrete step in using autonomous systems to let soldiers be soldiers instead of being drivers.’
Lockheed Martin proved much of the AMAS technology as part of the Convoy Active Safety Technology (CAST) programme, which applied advanced leader/follower autonomy to multiple tactical vehicle types that serve in convoys. According to the company, the US Army Tank-Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC) tested the CAST vehicles under a variety of combat conditions and demonstrated that the system will save lives by improving both safety and security.
Work on the programme will be performed through 2014.
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