Army Autonomous Tech Powers Up Ford F-150

F-150: Room for Computers & Off-Road Power
A new vehicle for the Kodiak Driver

Due to major technological and juridical predicaments, completely autonomous cars for purchasers are still a long way from becoming available. Nevertheless, those very same concerns do not restrict the military from employing self-driving vans on unpaved paths. Kodiak Robotics is presenting their first self-governing military prototype platform, enabled that enables a Ford F-150 to navigate without necessitating a person in the driver’s seat.

Kodiak dispatched its premier autonomous F-150 to the military in November to be used as an experimental platform for future turning points. The U.S. Army is assessing the technology for reconnaissance, supervision and perilous missions. Next in line is installing the system on vehicles constructed specifically for the armed forces.

, but the defense department opted for something more economical.Kodiak was able to complete this autonomous truck in a mere six months due to having already been developing self-driving technology which had been tested on semi-trucks. The secret to success was the DefensePod – the protrusions located on either side of this F-150. These are a modular device, signifying Kodiak’s aptitude to alter the system to myriad other vehicles, being not simply limited to Ford pick-ups.Ideally, the completed version of this technological advancement should have employed army-standard vehicles; however, the defence sector elected to go with something more cost-effective.

Mechanical alterations to the F-150 make it possible for the autonomously functioning apparatus to be coupled with the truck’s computer systems. Also, there have been some modifications to the suspension that upgrade the truck’s off-road ability.

DefensePod sensors exploit a combination of radar, lidar, as well as cameras to allow a vehicle to drive autonomously. According to Kodiak, this system is capable of functioning through areas with compromised GPS and is equipped to take a lorry over rough terrain, dirt, mud, and briny depths. It is possible for a person to control it remotely or to allow the inhabitant to be in charge while operating traditionally.

Kodiak insists that soldiers could handle the maintenance for the DefensePods with just a minimal level of education, thereby permitting the military to prolong their operability even in critical moments on a mission. It is stated that the process of exchanging components takes no more than 10 minutes.

Ford was not involved in this endeavour. Kodiak opted for the vehicle due to its established history.

“Kodiak chose the F-150 following an exhaustive industry-wide evaluation of the most suitable vehicle for this program,” Nathaniel Parker, General Manager of the Defense and Public Sector at Kodiak Robotics, stated to Motor1. The F-150 was their preferred choice due to its ability to provide ample space for the necessary computers and its capability to handle off-road conditions.

This is an opportunity for the armed forces to review a prototype. Subsequently, Kodiak shall be deploying this technology into real military vehicles.

Source: Kodiak Robotics via Car Buzz

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