US Army Advances Autonomous Capabilities
TARDEC and Lockheed Martin transform ordinary vehicles into autonomous, higher-speed driverless systems.
The US Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC), with Lockheed Martin as contractor, has developed a self-driving add-on capability to existing vehicles. It calls it the Autonomous Mobility Appliqué System (AMAS). In their latest demonstration, according to a press release on the Army’s website, seven trucks convoyed driverless at speeds up to 40 mph. AMAS is a Joint Capability Technology Demonstrator, or JCTD; which means it’s 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 projection is to deploy the AMAS system by 2020, according to the Army.
An article in GCN (6/17) noted that the convoy “negotiated oncoming traffic, followed rules of the road, recognized and avoided pedestrians and various obstacles, and then used intelligence and decision-making abilities to re-route itself through a maze of test areas to complete both complex urban and rural line haul missions.”
In an article that commented on the growing maturity of driverless tech, Defense News (6/19, Chuter & Kington), reported that Oshkosh demonstrated its TerraMax autonomous vehicle system at the Eurosatory 2014, a defense and security exhibition held in Paris from June 16 through 19 of this year. The Oshkosh system uses radar, lidar, video and GPS mapping “although Oshkosh claims the system can pilot a vehicle for 18 miles without GPS, relying on inertial measurement unit technology,” according to the article. In addition, it was reported that Ruag of Switzerland demonstrated its autonomous capabilities at the same show. The article goes on to say that driverless systems are not new. Nations deploying the capability include Israel and the British Army in Afghanistan, though in more exploratory or research stages.
Published Date : 7/7/2014