The US Army is heavily testing autonomous technologies image

Not only carmakers will benefit from the upcoming self-driving trend, but the US Army is also very interested in autonomous technologies.

Automotive giants are all deeply involved in the development of self-driving technologies, alongside with tech companies and some ride-sharing services. However, there is one more entity watching very closely the progress around autonomous cars. Furthermore, it is already testing convoys of driverless vehicles that follow a truck driven by a human. This entity is the US Army. The initial tests targeted the feedback given by cameras, radars and onboard computers when these systems are scanning the road ahead to identify potential hazards. Such technologies would definitely help the drivers by allowing them to focus on more crucial tasks during wartime. “One vehicle drives and a number of vehicles can follow,” said Paul Rogers to Automotive News. He is the director of the Army’s Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center in Warren, Michigan. “You won’t need as many drivers. You see commercial truck operators trying similar platooning projects at highway speeds.”

The Army plans to take these experiments to the next level this year, by testing vehicle-to-infrastructure technologies for a convoy of at least four vehicles and see if the trucks could follow each other without the drivers’ input. And if the systems will prove to be practical, the Army hopes to fit its fleet with a package of radar, cameras and onboard computers. The military is already involved in other tests to experiment alternative technologies that could benefit from it. In the autumn, GM has announced it has signed a contract with the US Army under which the automaker would build for the Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center division a fuel cell reconnaissance vehicle, for testing purposes. And the agreement has already produced its first vehicle: a hydrogen powered Chevrolet Colorado for extreme off-road challenges.

Via Automotive News