No Drivers Required for These Military Trucks

By: | February 26th, 2014

Transporting material through war zones is an increasingly dangerous task. Self-driving trucks that let the radar and sensors navigate toward a programmed destination could be the solution.

Recently, the U.S. Army demonstrated an autonomous fleet of vehicles with the hopes of deploying them to battle areas one day. The demonstration was a joint project between the U.S. Army Tank-Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Centre (TARDEC) and Lockheed Martin in Maryland.

The autonomous convoy was tested at Fort Hood in Texas last month. 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 both urban and rural test areas.

The vehicles were fitted with high performance LIDAR sensor- laser radar. This laser radar scans the road ahead and measures distances by illuminating a target with a laser and analyzing the reflection. Other trucks were also fitted with a GPS receiver to track the convoy’s route and follow the leader in convoy. This remarkable technology could eliminate the need for putting military personnel at risk altogether.

Nidhi Goyal

Nidhi is a gold medalist Post Graduate in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences.

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