In the most heavy-duty industry of them all—the military—saving lives reigns supreme and the US Army is currently working on integrating existing advanced technologies in order to enhance the safety of the modern soldier.
Improving military fleet capabilities is an ongoing operational priority for the U.S. Army. To protect soldiers and maximize their impact, the Army is making progressive strides toward the introduction of autonomous systems in tactical vehicles in an effort to remove the risk faced by soldiers in extremely hazardous and volatile missions.
These systems will provide increased situational awareness prior to placing a soldier in harm’s way, decreasing the probability of accidents by using safety technologies such as obstacle detection, collision avoidance, lane departure, tip-over warnings and vision enhancements for low-visibility conditions.
Radar systems are at the forefront of these lifesaving military innovations by helping to make autonomous technology capable of enabling almost every military vehicle an optionally manned vehicle in the not-so-distant future. The first step, according to Dr. Paul D. Rogers, director of the U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center, known as TARDEC, is being able to remove an assistant driver. “It’s a mature capability that is ready to go into a program of record and could be fielded in the 2025 timeframe."
Starting with troop-carrying vehicles, like the Humvee, removing the main driver could be ready before 2030. Future experimentation will include heavier equipment, such as the Bradley Fighting Vehicle and the Stryker.
This is in large part due to the Army’s partnership with companies currently utilizing these technologies. By leveraging existing solutions, the Army can use what has already been proven to work for collision avoidance, and save money by focusing research and development on military specific components.
"We're about harvesting technologies and integrating them into a package that offers operational relevance to the warfighter, capabilities they don't have today," Rogers said.
It's about designing integrated “kit-sized” systems for upfitting existing equipment, not deploying entirely new vehicles, that’s making these futuristic ideas a near-reality. These changing technologies will require robust relearning—not only with vehicle operations, but with redesigning how tactical operations are implemented.
"These are disruptive ideas and capabilities," said Rogers. Beyond ensuring the safety and efficiency of autonomous vehicles, driver-less technology may actually change the way soldiers fight and train.
In an ever-changing world where threats to personal safety grow more sophisticated as our technology does, it’s reassuring to know that some of the most trusted and tried-and-true safety technologies, like those developed by PRECO, will serve on the frontline with our military personnel—keeping both soldiers and the people they serve safe and free from harm.
Interested in finding out more about how safety technology can help keep your fleet safe? Contact us here.