US TARDEC and AM General to develop new autonomous driving vehicle


The US Tank Automotive Research Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC) has partnered with AM General for the development of an autonomous driving vehicle to meet military installation transport requirements.

The partnership forms a part of the Applied Robotics for Installations and Base Operations (ARIBO) programme.

According to AM General, the vehicle is expected to revolutionise how soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines, along with equipment and supplies, are transported inside US military facilities.

AM General executive vice president Kevin Rahrig said: “The American-made AM General vehicle is ideally suited for this initiative which will demonstrate the ability to augment the Academy’s existing transportation system, which consists of a 24/7 shuttle service transporting cadets and other military personnel to/or from the Academy hospital.

“The West Point demonstration uses AM General’s vehicle to not only demonstrate an autonomy kit but to highlight the idea of robotics for military and civilian.”

“Imagine what having a fully autonomous wheelchair accessible vehicle would mean to individuals with disabilities. This partnership with the Army could be the first step in transforming transportation for millions of people.”

The testing of the new vehicle is expected to begin at the US Military Academy in West Point, later this year.

TARDEC’s ARIBO programme project leader Alex Jimenez said: “The West Point demonstration uses AM General’s vehicle to not only demonstrate an autonomy kit but to highlight the idea of robotics for military and civilian use.

“The best robotic systems in the world will not find traction until users are comfortable with the systems. West Point is a prime location to address the acceptance aspect of robotics by having future Army leaders see and experience these robotics first hand.”

The demonstration will examine the vehicle's safety, performance and reliability, as well as navigation and mapping ability.