Autonomous Solutions, Inc. (ASI) is pleased to announce it recently received an AFWERX/AFRL Phase II SBIR award for $648,000 to automate a ground vehicle convoy on the test range at Edwards Air Force Base (AFB) in southern California.
AFRL and AFWERX have partnered to streamline the Small Business Innovation Research process in an attempt to speed up the experience, broaden the pool of potential applicants and decrease bureaucratic overhead. Beginning in June 2018, and through three repeat calls for ideas a year, the Air Force has begun offering ‘Special’ SBIR topics that are faster, leaner and open to a broader range of innovations.
“We are thrilled to have received funding for the second phase of this contract, and for the support of Edwards AFB,” said Jeff Ferrin, CTO at ASI. “This provides valuable resources for testing and enhancing the convoy capabilities of our Mobius command and control platform.”
The Mobius? platform is ASI’s proprietary command and control software used to operate self-driving vehicles. It has become known for delivering a powerful, user-friendly, autonomous vehicle experience to industries such as mining, agriculture, automotive, material handling, security and test range operations.
Mobius is designed to set specific tasks and control critical vehicle functions like steering, transmission, acceleration, brake and ignition of a vehicle from a remote location.
The goal of Edwards AFB is to use the Mobius? platform to improve precision, accuracy and repeatability of range testing.
Following a series of onsite visits, ASI selected the base as the best candidate for their solution.
“The most promising Air Force customer was Edwards AFB,” said Ferrin. “From the beginning of the Phase I project, they have been very interested in both Mobius and our convoy technology. The business case for efficiency and accuracy by applying Mobius at their training range is very strong.”
ASI was originally awarded Phase I of the federal grant as a result of the company’s response to a solicitation through the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program, titled Open Call for Innovative Defense-Related Dual -Purpose Technologies/Solutions.
According to the solicitation details, the objective of the grant was to “explore options for solutions that may fall outside the Air Force’s current fields of focus but that may be useful to the US Air Force.”
Companies were required to complete a feasibility study and prototype validated concepts requested in both Phase I and Phase II schedules.
ASI received $50,000 for Phase I of the grant in 2018.
Autonomous Solutions, Inc. (ASI) is a world leader in industrial vehicle automation. ASI serves clients across the world in the mining, agriculture, automotive, government, and manufacturing industries with remote control, teleoperation, and fully automated solutions from its headquarters and 100-acre proving ground in northern Utah.