A Defence project to develop a convoy of autonomous vehicles has hit a new milestone.
A fleet of modified cargo trucks — jointly developed by the Institute for Intelligent Systems Research and Innovation (IISRI) at Deakin University and Army’s Robotic and Autonomous Systems Implementation and Coordination Office (RICO) — have completed a series of capability tests, progressing to the next phase of the $3.5 million project.
A five-vehicle convoy of the autonomous leader-follower trucks conducted road trials over a two-week period at Defence’s Trials and Proving establishment at Monegeetta, Victoria.
Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price lauded the speed of the progress.
“The completion of this assessment within one year of the allocation of the funding demonstrates the strong industry and Defence partnerships in experimentation, prototyping and exploration of autonomous vehicle and new technologies,” Minister Price said.
“These technologies are ‘disruptive technologies’ that provide marked advantages on the modern battlefield by bolstering ADF capability while protecting Australian personnel.
“This is exactly the type of capability that the Morrison government announced in the four new Sovereign Industrial Capability Priorities, which will help to build a robust, resilient and internationally competitive defence industry in Australia.”
Army is also working with IISRI and the Australian Road Research Board on a transition of the testing onto public roads.
“There are a number of technical and regulatory challenges to address to get these platforms into common use,” Minister Price said.
“The ongoing efforts will enable Army to navigate these challenges.”
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