Lockheed, Army demo capabilities of unmanned vehicle convoys

Jan. 30, 2014 at 9:08 PM
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DALLAS, Jan. 30 (UPI) -- The ability of fully autonomous convoys made up of differing vehicles to operate in urban areas has been demonstrated by Lockheed Martin and the U.S. Army.

The demonstration at Fort Hood, Texas, was conducted this month by Lockheed and the Army Tank-Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center as part of the Army and Marine Corps' Autonomous Mobility Applique System program.

"The AMAS CAD 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 David Simon, AMAS program manager for Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control.

The test involved driverless tactical vehicles navigating hazards and obstacles such as road intersections, oncoming traffic, stalled and passing vehicles, pedestrians, and traffic circles in urban and rural test areas.

The Unmanned Mission Module component of AMAS includes a high-performance LIDAR sensor, a second GPS receiver and additional algorithms. It was installed as a kit on Army M915 trucks and the Palletized Loading System vehicles in the demonstration.

"It was very important that we had representation from the technology, acquisition and user bases, along with our industry partners, here at the CAD," said TARDEC technical manager Bernard Theisen. "We are very pleased with the results of the demonstration, because it adds substantial weight to the Army's determination to get robotic systems into the hands of the warfighter."

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