The Australian Army recently unveiled two self-driving armored vehicles that will be used to study how robots will affect future battlefields, foreign media New Atlas reported. Two specially adapted M113 armoured vehicles were simulated during a battlefield simulation at the Majura training ground in the Australian Capital Territory.
Since 2018, the Australian Army has followed its Robotics and Autonomous Systems strategy to better understand the potential of self-driving vehicles and their application in combat, intelligence and logistical support, and how to help soldiers evacuate from the battlefield.
As part of a six-month project, the two Cold War M113 armored vehicles were specially adapted by BAE Systems using an autonomous technology kit that has been used by a number of self-driving projects in the UK and Australia, including Taranis. Mantis and Kingfisher unmanned aerial vehicles, as well as all-terrain vehicles (MATV) and Digger unmanned ground vehicle demonstration projects. According to BAE, the vehicles will also include technology developed by the Commonwealth Trusted Autonomous Systems Defense Cooperation Research Centre.
Gabby Costigan, BAE Systems Australia chief executive, said: “This project demonstrates our commitment to leading the development of new technologies and working with industry and academia to improve autonomous driving capabilities. BAE Systems Australia’s ability to drive its own autonomous systems has taken advantage of more than three decades of collaboration between BAE Systems Australia and the Commonwealth government through programs such as Nulka and Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile (ESSM). Self-driving technology will support soldiers’ ability to react in an accelerating war environment – increasing their ability to transcend conventional and unconventional threats. “