July 30 (UPI) -- Lockheed Martin has been selected by the U.S. Army as the Integrated Systems Developer for their Expedient Leader Follower program for autonomous vehicles.
The selection is part of a three-year project to develop and test prototypes for unmanned vehicles that can automatically follow a manned lead vehicle in convoys. It will include Army personnel conducting practical test demonstrations in a field environment.
"We are leveraging 15 years of experience in developing autonomous capabilities for our customers," Gaylia Campbell, vice president of Precision Fires & Combat Maneuver Systems at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control, said in a press release.
"Our goal as the Integrated Systems Developer is to help coordinate a number of systems and vendors in achieving mature, reliable autonomous convoys to support our warfighters in complex environments," according to Campbell.
The program is meant reduce risks to soldiers doing resupply missions in dangerous environments and harsh weather by improving situational awareness and reducing the number of personnel needed per mission.
Robotic Research, out of Clarksburg, Md., received a $49.7 million contract in June to provide Autonomy Kits for the program designed to convert vehicles already in use.