AM General and the US Tank Automotive Research Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC) are partnering to develop and to demonstrate an autonomous driving vehicle that may revolutionize how soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines, along with equipment and supplies, are transported inside US military facilities.
Under the Applied Robotics for Installations and Base Operations initiative (ARIBO), AM General and TARDEC are currently developing an autonomous vehicle, with demonstrations expected to begin this Spring at the US Military Academy, West Point.
The ARIBO program allows current civilian robotics technology to be examined in vehicles in a semi-controlled environment such as military bases like West Point which have restricted roads, predefined routes and restrictive operations for favorable conditions. The program’s aim is to advance the state of military robotics while simultaneously addressing US military base needs by creating reliable military robotic technology and reducing operational and personnel costs.
During testing, the autonomous program at West Point will examine:
- Vehicle safety, performance and reliability
- Acceptance of robotic technologies by government users and non-users
- Time and money savings
- Energy efficiency
- Navigation and mapping ability
The West Point demonstration uses AM General’s vehicle to not only demonstrate an autonomy kit, but to highlight the idea of robotics for military and civilian use. The best robotic systems in the world will not find traction until users are comfortable with the systems. West Point is a prime location to address the acceptance aspect of robotics by having future Army leaders see and experience these robotics first hand.—Alex Jimenez, project leader for TARDEC’s ARIBO
Headquartered at the US Army Detroit Arsenal in Warren, Mich., TARDEC is a major research, development and engineering center for the Army Materiel Command’s Research, Development and Engineering Command and an enterprise partner in the TACOM Life Cycle Management Command. TARDEC is the US’ laboratory for advanced military automotive technology and serves as the Ground Systems Integrator for all Defense Department manned and unmanned ground vehicle systems.
AM General designs, engineers, manufactures, supplies and supports specialized vehicles for military and commercial customers worldwide. Through its military business, the company is widely recognized as the world leader in design, engineer, manufacture and support of Light Tactical Vehicles, having produced and sustained more than 300,000 vehicles in more than 60 countries.