The US military has always been way ahead of the game with integrating advanced vehicle technologies that end up years later in passenger vehicles. Lockheed Martin has been part of this for years, and more recently, has taken on autonomous vehicles. The company was awarded a Dept. of Defense contract in its Robotics Technology Consortium. The $11 million contract is focused on the development, integration, and testing of the Autonomous Mobility Applique System (AMAS).
It’s a multiplatform kit that integrates low-cost sensors and control systems onto US Army and Marine Corps tactical vehicles to assist drivers or enable autonomous operation in convoys. AMAS does not interfere with drivers who choose to operate their vehicle manually. It adds a sensing and control function that alerts users so they can rapidly react to safety threats.
“Driving tactical vehicles in a combat zone can be dangerous, but AMAS will help by giving drivers an automated option to alert, stop and adjust, or take full control under user supervision,” said Scott Greene, vice president of ground vehicles in Lockheed Martin’s Missiles and Fire Control business. “We pioneered this technology and have logged more than 16,000 miles with it on several platforms. AMAS is a concrete step in using autonomous systems to let soldiers be soldiers instead of being drivers.”
Lockheed Martin has been active in this advanced vehicle technology program for several years now. Its award-winning Convoy Active Safety Technology (CAST) program has applied advanced leader/follower autonomy to multiple tactical vehicle types that serve in convoys. The US Army Tank-Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center tested the CAST vehicles under a variety of combat conditions and demonstrated that the system will save lives by improving both safety and security.