The US Army has successfully completed the second series of the autonomous mobility appliqué system’s (AMAS) capabilities advancement demonstration (CAD-2) tests at the Department of Energy’s (DoE) Savannah River site in South Carolina, US.
Jointly carried out by the army tank automotive research, development and engineering center (TARDEC) and Lockheed Martin, the demonstration included one family of medium tactical vehicles (FMTV), one medium tactical vehicle replacement (MTVR) vehicle, two palletised load system trucks, two M915 line-haul tractors and one heavy equipment transport vehicle.
The AMAS completed a series of fully autonomous convoy tests involving an unmanned leader vehicle, followed by a convoy of up to six additional fully autonomous vehicles, which operated at speeds as high as 40mph.
Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control AMAS programme manager David Simon said the event marks a successful demonstration of the maturing capabilities of AMAS technology.
"We will conduct further safety testing within the next month, and the programme will execute a six-week operational demonstration in the July-August timeframe, during which time soldiers and marines will assess the system benefits in realistic convoy operations," Simon said.
The length and speed of the convoys in CAD-2 tests were double that of those demonstrated in the first series of tests in February.
Carried out at Fort Hood, Texas, US, the CAD-1 demonstration involved unmanned M915 trucks and palletised loading system (PLS) vehicles navigating an array of hazards and obstacles, including road intersections, oncoming traffic and stalled and passing vehicles, as well as pedestrians and traffic circles.
AMAS is a multiplatform kit that installs high-performance light detection and ranging (LIDAR) sensors and a GPS receiver and additional algorithms.
The kit is expected to reduce the dangers of driving in a combat zone by offering the drivers an automated option to alert, stop, adjust or take full control under user supervision.