US Army, Lockheed Martin complete 2nd autonomous convoy demo; more vehicles, higher speeds. Update w/video.
|The AMAS CAD II convoy of driverless trucks. Click to enlarge.|
The US Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC) and Lockheed Martin successfully demonstrated additional capabilities of the Autonomous Mobility Appliqué System (AMAS) at the Department of Energy’s Savannah River Site in South Carolina by conducting a driverless line-haul convoy with seven military trucks at speeds up to 40 mph (64 km/h).
The recent AMAS CAD II demonstration built upon the capabilities that were demonstrated at Ft. Hood, Texas, in January 2014, where three unmanned military trucks negotiated oncoming traffic, followed rules of the road, recognized pedestrians and avoided various obstacles at speeds up to 25 mph (40 km/h) in an urban environment. (Earlier post.)
The driverless vehicle is coming in both commercial and military applications. The Army is at the forefront of this technology.—Bernard Theisen, TARDEC’s AMAS Technical Manager
AMAS is a Joint Capability Technology Demonstrator, or JCTD—a joint program between the US Army and the US Marine Corps. The AMAS common appliqué kit consists of the bi-wire active safety kit and the autonomy kit.
It uses Global Positioning System (GPS), Light Detecting Radar (LIDAR) systems, Automotive Radio Detection and Ranging (RADAR) and commercially available automotive sensors in order to make the system affordable. The AMAS JCTD goal is to standardize these kits across both the Army and Marine Corps and give the warfighter the ability to transform ordinary vehicles into optionally-manned vehicles.
TARDEC is working closely with the US Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC), military users and the acquisition community to advance the development of autonomous appliqué systems for tactical vehicles and make these capabilities available by 2020.
Autonomy-enabled vehicles are expected to reduce accidents while augmenting the warfighter and increasing capabilities by creating greater stand-off distance from danger; making supply distribution safer and more efficient; and providing the flexibility to adapt to changing and evolving threats.