South Bend-based AM General LLC is partnering with the U.S. Tank Automotive Research Development and Engineering Center to develop a new autonomous driving vehicle. The company says the vehicle could revolutionize how military service members and equipment are transported.
The partnership is part of the Applied Robotics for Installations and Base Operations, or ARIBO, initiative. AM General says the program’s goal is to advance military robotics while addressing U.S. military base needs simultaneously.
"The American-made AM General vehicle is ideally suited for this initiative which will demonstrate the ability to augment the Academy’s existing transportation system, which consists of a 24/7 shuttle service transporting cadets and other military personnel to/or from the Academy hospital," said Kevin Rahrig, executive vice president of AM General. "Imagine what having a fully autonomous wheelchair accessible vehicle would mean to individuals with disabilities. This partnership with the Army could be the first step in transforming transportation for millions of people."
AM General expects to begin testing the new vehicle this spring at the U.S. Military Academy West Point. The testing will look at vehicle safety, performance and reliability, time and money savings and energy efficiency, among others.
The ARIBO program allows for the testing of these types of vehicles in a semi-controlled environment, such as West Point, according to AM General.