Autonomous Solutions, Inc. (ASI) has received Phase I funding from the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command Ground Vehicles Systems Center (formerly TARDEC) to improve the way heavy vehicles stop while operating autonomously.
“Bringing large autonomous vehicles to a safe stop in varying environments can be challenging,” said Jeff Ferrin, CTO of ASI. “Having additional funding from the Army to further develop this technology will help us make autonomous vehicles safer, which is always our number-one priority.”
The objective of the Army in awarding this grant is to develop and demonstrate a system that can be operated remotely and considers both the dynamics of the vehicle, as well as the environment, to optimally and safely bring a large ground vehicle to a complete stop despite the terrain.
“ASI has been working on terrain characterization with the Army since 2014,” said Ferrin. “This project will use similar technology to make sure the vehicle is aware of the terrain around it. This model of the terrain will then be used by the vehicle to ensure a safer stop is completed.”
A significant focus of this intelligent urgent stop initiative is machine learning. This improved technology will continuously monitor the interaction between a vehicle and its surroundings and update the internal model that is used to properly halt the vehicle. This process will allow the vehicle to learn and adapt as the terrain and environment change.
As the advanced solution is developed, tested and proven, it can be used by ASI’s autonomous vehicles across all the company’s multiple industries, including agriculture, automotive, construction haulage, mining, facility robotics and more.
According to Ferrin, “The system can be used with any drive-by-wire vehicle. It will interface with the brakes and steering to bring the vehicle to a safe, controlled stop.”
Details of the Phase I stage awarded to ASI include development of a concept design using commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) sensors to perform safe deceleration of a large ground vehicle. A concept design report and performance analysis report are required deliverables before Phase II can be awarded.
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.