The U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC) and Lockheed Martin successfully demonstrated additional capabilities of the Autonomous Mobility Appliqué System (AMAS) May 29 at the Department of Energy’s Savannah River Site in South Carolina.
They conducted a driverless line-haul convoy with seven military trucks at speeds up to 40 mph.
The AMAS CAD II demonstration built upon capabilities demonstrated at Fort Hood, Texas, in January, when three unmanned military trucks negotiated oncoming traffic, followed rules of the road, recognized pedestrians, and avoided various obstacles at speeds up to 25 mph in an urban environment.
AMAS is a Joint Capability Technology Demonstrator, or JCTD. That means it’s a joint program between the U.S. Army and the U.S. Marine Corps. The AMAS common appliqué kit consists of the bi-wire active safety kit and the autonomy kit. It uses GPS, lidar systems, Automotive radar, and commercially available automotive sensors 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 U.S. 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 will reduce accidents while augmenting the warfighter, and increase capabilities by creating greater stand-off distance from danger, which would make supply distribution safer and more efficient, and provide the flexibility to adapt to tomorrow’s ever-changing and evolving threats.
“The driverless vehicle is coming in both commercial and military applications,” said Bernard Theisen, TARDEC’s AMAS Technical Manager. “The Army is at the forefront of this technology.”