DALLAS, Oct. 25 (UPI) -- The U.S. military has tapped Lockheed Martin to develop a kit that integrates sensors and control systems onto U.S. Army and Marine Corps tactical vehicles.
The multi-platform kits will to assist drivers or enable autonomous vehicle operation in convoys and will add a sensing and control function for rapid reaction to safety threats.
The contract for development integration and testing of the Autonomous Mobility Applique System, issued by the U.S. Department of Defense, is worth $11 million and has a performance period through 2014.
"Driving tactical vehicles in a combat zone can be dangerous but AMAS will help by giving drivers an automated option to alert, stop and adjust or take full control under user supervision," said Scott Greene, vice president of ground vehicles in Lockheed Martin's Missiles and Fire Control business.
"We pioneered this technology and have logged more than 16,000 miles with it on several platforms.
"AMAS is a concrete step in using autonomous systems to let soldiers be soldiers instead of being drivers."
Lockheed said much of the AMAS technology was developed as part of the Convoy Active Safety Technology program, which applied advanced leader/follower autonomy to multiple tactical vehicle types and which was tested by the U.S. Army Tank-Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center.
"This technology is extremely versatile, considering our robust perception and control algorithms and our low-cost sensor suite," said Greene. "We are confident we can spread its use across the eight vehicle types the program will use for demonstration."