Autonomous Vehicle Technology May Improve Safety for U.S. Army Convoys
Feb 12, 2020
This report examines how the U.S. Army can move ahead with the development and integration of automated driving technology for its convoy operations in the near future. The authors examine the technical and tactical benefits and risks of different employment concepts of automated trucks in convoys that appear viable in the next one to five years. Robotic ground vehicles could potentially save lives and increase convoy efficiency.
Technical and Tactical Risks and Opportunities
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This report examines how the U.S. Army can move ahead with the development and integration of automated driving technology for its convoy operations in the near future. Robotic ground vehicles are quickly maturing in the commercial sphere and could potentially save lives and increase efficiency if utilized in Army convoys. However, it may be many years until fully unmanned convoy vehicles are able to operate in rough terrain or manage adversarial attacks. In response, the authors of this report examine different employment concepts of automated trucks in Army convoys that appear viable in the next one to five years and would still reduce soldier casualties. The authors investigate technical and tactical benefits and risks of these concepts. A bridging option, the minimally manned employment concept, leading to the eventual use of a mix of manned and unmanned trucks in a convoy, is developed in this report to address the current technical and tactical risks of concepts requiring use of unmanned, automated trucks in Army convoys.
An Overview of Army Combat Logistics Patrols and Convoys
Three Potential Concepts for Automating Army Convoys
Technological Assessment: How Close Is the Army to Realizing the Benefits of Automated Convoys?
DOTmLPF-P Assessment: What Changes Will Automated Convoys Bring to Army Operations?
Discussion and Recommendations
The research described in this report was sponsored by the United States Army and conducted by the Forces and Logistics Program within the RAND Arroyo Center.
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