UV - Unmanned Vehicles

Lockheed Martin progresses with autonomous convoy demo

11th June 2014 - 01:06 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

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In cooperation with the US Army Tank-Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC), Lockheed Martin has completed the second set of demonstrations of the Autonomous Mobility Applique System (AMAS) Capabilities Advancement Demonstration (CAD-2) in South Carolina, the company reported on 10 June.

The tests validated the ability of driverless military-truck convoys to operate successfully and safely in a variety of environments.

In the CAD-2 demonstration, AMAS completed a series of fully autonomous convoy tests involving a completely unmanned leader vehicle followed by a convoy of up to six additional follower autonomous vehicles operating at speeds as high as 40 mph. The tests doubled the length and speed of convoys previously demonstrated under the programme.

According to the company, vehicles used in the CAD-2 demonstration included one Family of Medium Tactical Vehicles (FMTV) truck, one Medium Tactical Vehicle Replacement (MTVR) vehicle, two Palletized Load System trucks, two M915 Line-Haul Tractors and one Heavy Equipment Transport.

David Simon, AMAS programme manager, Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control, said: ‘I would describe these tests as a successful demonstration of the maturing capabilities of AMAS technology. We will conduct further safety testing within the next month, and the programme will execute a six-week Operational Demonstration in the July-August timeframe, during which time soldiers and marines will assess the system benefits in realistic convoy operations.’

The first series of CAD tests were completed earlier in 2014. Those tests saw simulated 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 AMAS hardware and software are designed to automate the driving task on current tactical vehicles. The Unmanned Mission Module part of AMAS, which includes a high-performance LIDAR sensor, and additional algorithms, is installed as a kit and can be used on virtually any military vehicle.

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