Australian Army successfully tests autonomous truck convoy
The Army successfully operated an autonomous truck convoy on a public road in Australia for the first time on June 6.
The National Transport Research Organisation and Deakin University supported the leader-follower trial, in which a convoy of four autonomous Army trucks followed a crewed ‘leader’ vehicle on a public road in Victoria.
Colonel Robin Smith, of Army’s Future Land Warfare Branch, said the autonomous vehicles performed well.
“This trial showed how a convoy could undertake a resupply mission between an airfield and a military base, giving us an idea of how this kind of technology could be used in the future,” Colonel Smith said.
“Driving on a highway in traffic meant the technology was tested to stop safely, and leave distances between other vehicles, while following the path set by the leader.
“Down the track, technology like this could remove our soldiers from dangerous environments, or help free soldiers up for other roles.”
During the highway trials, Army simulated an autonomous resupply mission between Mangalore Airfield and Puckapunyal using the Goulburn Valley Highway and the Hume Highway.
The trial is part of Army’s modernisation, which includes exploring human machine teaming, quantum technology, artificial intelligence and electrification.
Army continues to collaborate with industry and academia to explore how technology can increase mission success and lower risk to soldiers.