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Friday, January 29, 2016

Army Demonstrates Autonomous Vehicle Capabilities at Detroit Auto Show

As reported by Popular Mechanics: The military is continuing to experiment with autonomous vehicle technologies. Earlier this month, the U.S. Army successfully deployed a fully-autonomous ground vehicle by having it flown in by a fully-autonomous helicopter. Now the Army has revealed that autonomous driving technology can be used in a number of their trucks and military vehicles.

At the Detroit Auto Show, the U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research, Development, and Engineering Center (TARDEC) showed off one of its autonomous vehicles. In addition to cutting down on required personnel by having a convoy of autonomous vehicles follow one human driver, driverless vehicles could also navigate areas with a high number of IEDs or other hazards without risking human life. A new video from Stars and Stripes takes a look at the new driverless Army trucks. 
Just like Google's driverless cars, the autonomous military vehicles use a LIDAR system to create a three-dimensional world map and navigate around obstacles. The Army's large autonomous trucks are still being developed—they're a little harder to fine tune than the little pods that Google has out on the roads—but finding new ways to perform wartime operations while keeping soldiers out of harm's way is one of the Army's top priorities.