Now a whole convoy of driverless trucks can be led safely through Afghanistan with only a shoestring!

Military convoys are a top resource for transporting supplies; vehicles are protected and can deliver large shipments of supplies at one time. The challenge? Convoys face greater dangers than ever before, especially in today’s combat environments and warfare techniques (e.g. insurgents using ambushes in urban environments and roadside bombs).

Engineers and manufacturers
have been trying their best to create solutions to the new problems posed by 21st Century warfare conditions. It’s tough to develop a solution that is able to withstand a powerful explosion from an IED while still balancing how much personal body armor a driver can wear, how much space a driver has to operate in the cab, and how much shielding can be placed on a vehicle without restricting movement or visibility of operators. Oh yeah! And whatever we come up with has to be affordable too.

The solution showcased by
Guideline™ Robotic Convoy System, developed by Autonomous Solutions, Inc., is to take the Soldier completely out of the equation. Two or more convoy vehicles are equipped with vehicle automation technology and are then lashed together with a physical tether. The algorithms in the Guideline™ unit use the length and vector of the tether to deduce the exact location and pathway of the vehicle ahead of it. This information is relayed to the vehicle automation kit which takes care of the actual driving. Convoys still get from point A to point B and the
Soldiers that would normally be behind the wheel are kept safe from dangerous circumstances.

The Guideline™ system uses a durable, Kevlar tether to attach an autonomous vehicle to any leader, even another robotic vehicle or a person. The tether works in any terrain, weather, or lighting and is immune to jamming equipment. Sensors within the tether measure the distance, direction, and speed of the tether and use it to map out the exact path of the lead vehicle for the autonomous vehicle kit to follow.