Robot convoy

By Joseph Normandin

Posted by John McHale
Remember the Sam Peckinpah movie Convoy starring Kris Kristofferson from the 1970s about outlaw truck drivers? Imagine if all the trucks were robots.

Lockheed Martin engineers are working on such an unmanned vehicle convoy concept. Ok, not exactly robots, but a system that enables military convoys to be unmanned, thereby cutting down on casualties from improvised explosive devices (IEDs) .

The Lockheed Martin concept is called Convoy Active Safety Technology, or CAST, and it uses kits that turn military transport vehicles into autonomous vehicles . According to the Lockheed data sheet it uses Lockheed's AutoMate sensor and actuation kit that enables lateral and longitudinal control of different tactical wheeled vehicles relative to a lead vehicle within a five-vehicle convoy.

Lockheed Martin officials claim that CAST reduces fatigue, eliminates rear-end collisions, and enhances operator situational awareness. The system also has night-vision capability .

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The Mil & Aero Bloggers

John Keller is editor-in-chief of Military & Aerospace Electronics magazine, which provides extensive coverage and analysis of enabling electronic and optoelectronic technologies in military, space, and commercial aviation applications. A member of the Military & Aerospace Electronics staff since the magazine's founding in 1989, Mr. Keller took over as chief editor in 1995.

Ernesto Burden is the publisher of PennWell’s Aerospace & Defense Media Group, including Military & Aerospace Electronics, Avionics Intelligence and Avionics Europe.  He’s a father of four, a runner, and an avid digital media enthusiast with a deep background in the intersection of media publishing, digital technology, and social media. He can be reached at ernestob@pennwell.com and on Twitter @aero_ernesto.

Courtney E. Howard, as executive editor, enjoys writing about all things electronics and avionics in PennWell’s burgeoning Aerospace and Defense Group, which encompasses Military & Aerospace Electronics, Avionics Intelligence, the Avionics Europe conference, and much more. She’s also a self-proclaimed social-media maven, mil-aero nerd, and avid avionics geek. Connect with Courtney at Courtney@Pennwell.com, @coho on Twitter, and on LinkedIn.

Mil & Aero Magazine

January 2014
Volume 25, Issue 1
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