Kratos Defense Robotic Self-Driving Unmanned Truck Customer Portfolio Expands as Deployments are Increasing in the United States and Worldwide
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In the commercial highway maintenance industry, driving a Truck Mounted Attenuator (TMA) is recognized as one of the most dangerous job or task assignments in the work zone. The TMA vehicle functions as a human-driven mobile crash barrier following behind slow moving highway maintenance operations shielding those workers and equipment from errant drivers entering the work zone. Workers assigned to drive the TMA are at serious risk of lifelong injury if/when their TMA is impacted, by another vehicle. The impacting vehicle can range from a family sedan to an 80,000 pound tanker truck traveling at 60 mph or more. Kratos recognized this risk area as an opportunity to pivot and expand our technology to additional life-saving applications. We adapted our military Autonomous Vehicle (AV) solutions for this commercial application to eliminate this dangerous human assignment.
The ATMA was adapted from AV technology Kratos originally developed for the military to reduce warfighter exposure during dangerous missions such as route clearance and resupply operations. The AV system is deployed in a “Leader/Follower” configuration where a human driven “leader vehicle” is followed by the self-driving “follower vehicle”, the ATMA. The leader and follower vehicles are retrofitted with system components to enable the driverless operation. Kratos integrated a precision navigation system for centimeter-level following accuracy and GPS-denied operation. Navigation data is transmitted from the leader vehicle to the ATMA over a dual-redundant Vehicle-To-Vehicle (V2V) communications architecture that is hardened with AES encryption and a frequency hopping spread spectrum. The ATMA is also enabled with front and side view obstacle detect and avoid systems using a combination of overlapping sensor technologies. With the entire ATMA system being a “bolt-on” retrofit solution, it has proven to be a more cost-effective and desirable option versus replacing existing vehicle fleets with “purpose-built” robots.
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Source: Kratos Defense & Security Solutions, Inc.