Robotic Research has enhanced its AutoDrive-M autonomy platform with Retrotraverse technology, which enables autonomous reversing of vehicles with trailers.
The technology was recently demonstrated with three US Army’s Palettized Load System (PLS) logistics trucks, each hauling trailers.
The US Army uses AutoDrive-M autonomy kit on PLS logistics trucks.
According to the company, the Retrotraverse feature will enable a platoon of heavy-duty trucks with trailers to autonomously reverse.
The capability is specially developed to mitigate risks associated with reversing a vehicle in potentially dangerous situations, including poor weather, dust and off-road conditions.
Robotic Research president Alberto Lacaze said: “This is a major step forward for our company and has broad application both in autonomy and platooning. The capability solves the potentially life-threatening problem of an autonomous platoon of military vehicles being unable to navigate out of a dangerous situation.
“This automated platooning capability will ultimately extend the reach of soldiers without putting them in harm’s way.”
In 2018, Robotic Research secured a three-year $49.7m contract from the US Army to provide its autonomy kit for large convoy resupply vehicles.
To date, the company has delivered around 100 unmanned platooning trucks.
Robotic Research commercial systems Joe Putney said: “Anyone who has backed up a truck with a trailer knows how difficult it is to navigate.
“The autonomous Retrotraverse feature was able to reverse a truck and trailer faster than even our most skilled drivers. This feature is not just lifesaving, it’s time-saving, and it has the ability to reduce one of the greatest pains truck drivers have.”