Oshkosh Defense is showcasing a new autonomous unmanned truck, a US Army Family of Medium Tactical Vehicles (FMTV) Load Handling Systems variant equipped with the company's TerraMax self-driving technology.

The LHS model is a nine-ton, 6x6 all-wheel drive truck that's transportable via C-130 aircraft. The TerraMax unmanned ground vehicle technology is a kit that can be integrated on new vehicles as they are produced or retrofitted to existing fleet vehicles.

The aim is to get as many soldiers as possible out of the supply and logistics chain so they are less vulnerable to attacks from improvised explosive devices. Ultimately, full autonomy is the goal, but in the meantime the company is working to make military vehicles smarter. The LHS has forward-looking sensors, lidars and three radars with advanced algorithms to better handle obscurants such as dust.

Medium Tactical Vehicle
 © Oshkosh Defense

The company is also working with the US Marine Corps Warfighter Lab on a two-year cargo UGV demonstration, also aimed at getting humans out of the logistics chain. Oshkosh won a bid for the work and the project is now beginning, said Brent Azzarelli, the chief robotics engineer at Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division. The Marines are already working on a smaller unmanned ground vehicle program for dismounted Marines, but the new effort focuses on larger convoys and uses a TerraMaxed version of the Medium Tactical Vehicle Replacement (MTVR).

The two-year project, done in conjunction with the Robotics Technology Consortium, is aimed at demonstrating the technology that could lead to a set of requirements that in turn could lead to a formal program of record, although Azzarelli said "I can't speculate when we'll see this or not. We're just trying to experiment with a capability."

Source: Flight Daily News