Mon | Jan 22, 2018

US Army to test driverless trucks

Published:Sunday | May 29, 2016 | 12:00 AM
Passengers exit Daimler]s Freightliner Inspiration self-driving truck after a demonstration in May in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, in 2015.
The dashboard of Daimler's Freightliner Inspiration self-driving truck.

LAPEER, Mich. (AP):

A CONVOY of US Army vehicles will cruise along a stretch of Interstate 69 in Michigan as part of an initial testing of driverless military vehicle equipment on public roadways.

Representatives from the US Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Centre, and the Michigan Department of Transportation, held public information sessions on the testing last Monday in eastern Michigan.

In late June, the vehicles will test a piece of technology that is critical in the development and testing of driverless and connected vehicles, the Times Herald of Port Huron reported. Someone will be behind the wheel of each vehicle, which is equipped with features from the driverless vehicle systems, including adaptive cruise control and lane keep assist, The Flint Journal reported.

Six radio transmitters will be set up along Interstate 69 to allow for groups of five vehicles to broadcast speed, distance and traffic issues as directed over the frequency, said Alex Kade, chief system architect in ground vehicle robotics for the Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Centre.


If the testing is successful, the technology could save the lives of soldiers serving overseas, according to officials.

Kade said the advancement of driverless vehicles could help cut down on accidents and dangerous combat situations for soldiers, especially in places where bombs and improvised explosive devices could be hidden.

The stretch of I-69 in St Clair and Lapeer counties in Michigan was chosen for the testing because of its proximity to an international border crossing and to the Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Centre's headquarters at the US Army Detroit Arsenal in Warren, said Doug Halleaux, the centre's public affairs officer.

Interstate 69 will remain open to traffic during the testing period.