Pentagon planning to roll out autonomous vehicles for combat zones

May 3, 2018

Defense Department officials are pushing to roll out self-driving vehicles for the Army before they come to U.S. roadways

The Pentagon may deploy self-driving vehicles in combat zones to reduce the risk for military personnel attempting to deliver supplies to troops, according to a Bloomberg report.

At an April hearing on Capitol Hill, Michael Griffin, the U.S. undersecretary of defense for research and engineering, told lawmakers that he envisions autonomous vehicles for the Army before they hit U.S. roads.

About 52% of casualties in combat areas can be attributed to military personnel delivering food and fuel.

For several years, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has been funding research into self-driving cars and sponsored its first competition for the vehicles in 2004. But there is more work to be done for the engineering of the driverless cars and rolling them out in combat zones.

In addition to the technical challenges of developing the vehicles, the military's autonomous vehicles will also need to be regulated. The Pentagon has yet to address just how the cars would be regulated for safety, cyber security, privacy and liability.


Source: Heavy Duty Trucking / Bloomberg