U.S. Army convoys will soon be able to move through combat zones without endangering soldiers’ lives once new autonomous-vehicle technology tested last month is put into place.
The US Army Tank-Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC) and weapons contractor Lockheed Martin first demonstrated earlier this month the Autonomous Mobility Applique System (AMAS) at Fort Hood in Texas. The technology gives full autonomy to convoy vehicles that must often traverse dense urban terrain, often posing great risk to military personnel.
The driverless system has shown the ability to “navigate hazards and obstacles including pedestrians, oncoming traffic, road intersections, traffic circles and stalled and passing vehicles,” Wired reported.
Lockheed Martin integrated sensor technology and control systems with Army and Marine tactical-vehicle capabilities for AMAS, which the powerhouse weapons maker began in 2012 under an initial US$11 million contract. The versatile AMAS “is installed as a kit and can be used on virtually any military vehicle,” according to Lockheed.
“The AMAS CAD [Capabilities Advancement Demonstration] hardware and software performed exactly as designed, and dealt successfully with all of the real-world obstacles that a real-world convoy would encounter,” said Lockheed’s AMAS program manager David Simon in a statement.