In October 2012, Lockheed Martin received an $11 million contract for the development, integration and testing of the Autonomous Mobility Appliqué System (AMAS), a multiplatform kit that integrates low-cost sensors and control systems onto U.S. Army and Marine Corps tactical vehicles to assist drivers or enable autonomous operation in convoys.
AMAS will reduce the dangers of driving in a combat zone by giving drivers an automated option to alert, stop and adjust, or take full control under user supervision.
Lockheed Martin proved much of the AMAS technology as part of the award-winning Convoy Active Safety Technology (CAST) program, which applied advanced leader/follower autonomy to multiple tactical vehicle types that serve in convoys. The kit was designed from the beginning to be low-cost and essentially platform-independent. Users appreciated the system’s simple, single-button activation and were using the system with as little as an hour’s training.
The U.S. Army Tank-Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC) tested the CAST vehicles under a variety of combat conditions and demonstrated that the system will save lives by improving both safety and security.
The AMAS program intends to demonstrate the system across eight vehicle types. AMAS does not interfere with drivers who choose to operate their vehicle manually. It adds a sensing and control function that alerts users and so they can rapidly react to safety threats. Many of the algorithms on AMAS also control Lockheed Martin’s Squad Mission Support System unmanned ground vehicle, which was recently used by soldiers in Afghanistan.
Work on the contract, which was awarded by the Department of Defense through its Other Transaction Agreement with the Robotics Technology Consortium, will be performed in Littleton, Colo., and Dallas though 2014.