The U.S. Army can now keep an eye on hostile urban places and battlefields without fearing for their lives through the use of driverless vehicle technology.
The U.S. Department of Defense last year expressed its desire to have driverless drones because it cannot only save human lives but can also act according to a programmed set of inputs like, selecting a target and firing at it even without someone checking on it.
The Autonomous Mobility Appliqué System (AMAS) will allow the army to have a safer surrounding and achieve its goal of a total autonomous warfare.
"[AMAS] adds substantial weight to the Army's determination to get robotic systems into the hands of the warfighter," said TARDEC technical manager Bernard Theisen in the press release.
Samuel P. Liles, an associate professor at Purdue University specializing in transnational cyber threats and computer forensics, explained why the U.S government wants this technology. In a statement he gave out to Defense One, he was quoted: "It could be less emotional, more selective and able to provide force in a way that achieves a tactical objective with the least harm. A lethal autonomous robot can aim better, target better, select better, and in general be a better asset with the linked ISR [intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance] packages it can run."
In a conference held in Fort Hood, Texas early this year, the abilities of the driverless technology were showcased by Lockheed Martin and the U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC). It include a functionality to plot a course or route away from dangers and obstructions like parked and moving vehicles, pedestrians crossing, road intersections, and traffic were displayed.
David Simon, AMAS program manager for Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control said in the press release, "The AMAS CAD hardware and software performed exactly as designed, and dealt successfully with all of the real-world obstacles that a real-world convoy would encounter."
AMAS, which consists of Army and Marine tactical vehicles, is made up of a multiplatform kit that combines control systems and low-cost sensors that enables it to take full control of the vehicle under user supervision. It is developed by Lockheed Martin under an initial contract in 2012 amounting to $11 million.