Australian Army successfully trials autonomous truck convoy

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The Australian Army recently completed a trial deployment of an autonomous truck convoy in Victoria. 

The trial is part of the Army’s modernisation efforts, which involve human-machine teaming, quantum technology, artificial intelligence, and electrification. 

The National Transport Research Organisation and Deakin University helped conduct the leader-follower trial in which a convoy of four autonomous Army trucks followed a crewed “leader” vehicle on a public road. 

The trial simulated an autonomous resupply mission between Mangalore Airfield and Puckapunyal using the Goulburn Valley Highway and the Hume Highway.

Col. Robin Smith of the Army’s Future Land Warfare Branch said the deployment showed how a convoy could undertake a resupply mission between an airfield and a military base. 

“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,” Smith said. “Down the track, technology like this could remove our soldiers from dangerous environments, or help free soldiers up for other roles.”

The Australian Army is looking to collaborate with industry and academia to explore how technology can increase mission success and lower risk to soldiers.