Clemson, U.S. Army to develop next generation of autonomous vehicle tools, prototyping
This past summer at Fort Carson, Colo., modified Bradley Fighting Vehicles, known as Mission Enabling Technologies Demonstrators, and modified M113 tracked armored personnel carriers, or Robotic Combat Vehicles, were used for the Soldier Operational Experimentation (SOE) Phase 1 to further develop learning objectives for the Manned Unmanned Teaming (MUM-T) concept. Automotive autonomy technology is changing economies and global industries – and is also a driving force behind military modernization. Bringing these self-driving vehicles to life on- and off-road requires new concepts and algorithms to be tested expeditiously and cost-effectively – all of which happen through virtual prototyping. This key enabler for autonomy is the focus behind a new $18 million center housed at the Clemson University International Center for Automotive Research (CU-ICAR) and a research partnership with the U.S. Army Ground Vehicle Systems Center (GVSC). The Virtual Prototyping of Ground Systems (VIPR-GS) Center will serve as the impetus for the research project. As founding director of VIPR-GS, Zoran Filipi will lead more than 65 Clemson faculty across seven engineering departments on the multi-year research partnership with GVSC to develop virtual prototyping tools supporting the rapid transformation of U.S. Army fleets. The research will be focused on autonomy-enabled ground vehicles, including digital engineering, next-generation propulsion and energy systems, and manned and unmanned teaming in unknown off-road environments.