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Robotic Convoys

Truck convoys are the lifeline of America’s Army during conflict, supplying everything troops need. But convoy Soldiers are exposed to every danger, from extreme weather and sleep deprivation to improvised explosive devices to firefights or kidnapping.

Using the leader-follower technology developed through TARDEC’s VTI program and ARL’s Robotics CTA program, a single Soldier could pilot an entire convoy from a crew station positioned anywhere in the convoy.

Leader-Follower Technologies

  • Navigation Based, Imager/Radar based, Map Registration based
  • Autonomous Navigation – simple teleoperation to fully autonomous
  • Wide ranging HRI capabilities to support varying mission requirements
  • Modalities: Simple teleoperation, to fully autonomous planning and execution
  • Various levels of crew aiding automation and behaviors available

VTI Pavement ConvoyThis emerging autonomous convoy capability eliminates the need for a driver in every vehicle, allows Soldiers to rest, run prognostics on their vehicle or other vehicles in the convoy, or perform other critical duties.  Used in manned vehicles, GDRS’ robotic convoy capability allows the crew to concentrate on security, rest on the move, and decreases accidents due to human error.

In field experiments using real equipment, in real environments, under the control of Soldiers who have served in the field in places such as Iraq, Afghanistan, and Bosnia, the VTI program has demonstrated the feasibility of robotic convoys.