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National Transport Research OrganisationMar 24, 2023 2:07:42 PM1 min read

Autonomous leader follower project taking shape

Robotic and autonomous systems have the potential to fundamentally change the way the Army fights, trains and organises itself.

Investment in these technologies is critical to be competitive in the future autonomously-enabled battlespace.

The NTRO is partnering with the Institute for Intelligent Systems Research and Innovation (IISRI) of Deakin University in an exciting project.

The aim is to design and build, as a platform agnostic concept demonstrator, an autonomous leader-follower convoy with advanced obstacle avoidance.

A multi-vehicle convoy is being developed and tested at multiple locations. The lead vehicle is being conventionally crewed by a human operator, or being tele-operated remotely by a human controller.

It has been tested at a Victorian RAAF base, and in October 2022, was tested at Mount Panorama, Bathurst, ahead of the famous Bathurst 1000 motor race.

The project is now focused on navigating the challenges associated with the use of autonomous vehicles on public roads, culminating in a simulated logistics delivery from an airport, along a main supply route, to deliver supplies to a tactical field location.

This concept demonstration on public roads will enable Army to develop its capability in the safe operations of its future autonomous systems on Australia’s public road network (and not just on off-road environments). The project will aid Army to understand how and where autonomous vehicles could be best employed for military advantage, informing capability investment decisions into the future.

The 2023 NTRO International Conference will highlight exciting work being done by the NTRO and others in themes including Drivers of Innovation, and Agile Transport Futures. Find out more about the Conference here, and register to be a part of the Conference here.