The US Army Combat Capabilities Development Command’s Ground Vehicle Systems Centre and the UK’s Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) have jointly tested a new prototype of a semi autonomous logistic convoy.
The test, performed at Camp Grayling Joint Manoeuvre Training Centre in Grayling, US, involved both ground and aerial autonomous resupply systems.
The experiment involved operation of a multi-vehicle fully integrated US/UK military convoy.
The vehicle was operated in different modes including as semi-autonomous control using designated way-points. Meanwhile, the other vehicles moved by leveraging the data provided by the lead vehicles as well as the information gathered by their own sensors.
Supplies are usually delivered to the front line via manned approach, which requires soldiers to move under enemy fire.
The test is intended to demonstrate the potential use of unmanned systems in delivery of supplies like ammunition, food and medical supplies to forward combat areas on the battlefield with lower risk for the operators.
The systems has been designed by the UK as part of a three-year alliance of coalition forces and specialist.
Peter Stockel, Dstl Autonomy Innovation lead said, “We have gained hugely valuable insights into the reliability and maturity of ‘state of the art’ technology and how to operate these systems as a UK/US coalition. This is about two major Western partners working together to make future battlefield operations less risky, more effective and efficient.
The final end-to-end demonstration event engaged robotic and autonomous systems for various supply chain deployments, including robotic and semi-autonomous load handling vehicles, along with autonomous ‘ last mile ‘ re-supply capability.