Army Rolling Ahead With Manned-Unmanned Convoys

By Vivienne Machi

The Army is moving forward with efforts to develop an autonomous convoy capability that could help troops transport supplies, equipment and other resources more efficiently and safely across the battlefield.

The service’s Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center, or TARDEC, is overseeing several programs that look to eventually coordinate a manned leader vehicle with several unmanned follower trucks that could streamline convoy operations among the U.S. military and its coalition partners.

The tactical wheeled vehicle leader-follower effort will provide a limited autonomous capability to the palletized load system A1 vehicle, according to service documents. The plan is to have one manned “leader” truck direct seven unmanned vehicles. Initial efforts have one designated leader control up to three optionally manned followers as the technology matures.




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