Lockheed Martin has shown that fully autonomous convoys can safely navigate road intersections, oncoming traffic, stalled and passing vehicles, and pedestrians. A series of advanced tests in the Autonomous Mobility Appliqué System (AMAS) program for the US Army and US Marine Corps were completed. The testing, Lockheed said, showed that fully autonomous convoys can operate in urban environments and with a mixture of vehicle types.
The AMAS program for the Pentagon’s ground troops uses standard-issue vehicles outfitted with a kit of gear including a high-performance LIDAR sensor and a second GPS receiver, locked and loaded with a range of algorithms. That gear, Lockheed said, could be used on virtually any military vehicle, but in these tests was affixed to the Army’s M915 tractor-trailer trucks and to Palletized Loading System vehicles.
Convoys are commonplace arrangements for military vehicles, of course, but research shows that similar platooning of civilian vehicles could save fuel, fit more cars on the road, and even improve road safety.
The AMAS program intends to demonstrate the system across eight vehicle types. AMAS does not interfere with drivers who choose to operate their vehicle manually. It adds a sensing and control function that alerts users and so they can rapidly react to safety threats. Many of the algorithms on AMAS also control Lockheed Martin’s Squad Mission Support System unmanned ground vehicle, which was recently used by soldiers in Afghanistan.
SOURCES – Lockheed Martin, CNET
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