BAE Systems Australia and Trusted Autonomous Systems (TAS) have recently completed a four-year research and demonstration program, during which they developed an artificial intelligence system that could be used in uncrewed ground vehicles (UGV).
The TAGVIEW (Trusted Autonomous Ground Vehicles in Electronic Warfare) system would allow multiple UGVs to operate simultaneously to carry out mission objectives while identifying and evading potential threats.
“We continue to push the boundaries of science and technology to provide Australia and our allies with a capability advantage on a future battlefield," said Andrew Gresham, BAE Systems Australia’s Defence Delivery Managing Director.
“TAGVIEW has been a unique collaboration, bringing together the strengths of Defence, industry and academia to fast track the development of a transformative autonomous technology.”
Modular in design, and integrated with BAE Systems’ autonomous Vehicle Management System, TAGVIEW will be compatible with a range of different UGVs. It can feature a range of technologies, including optic cameras, LiDaR (Light Detection and Ranging) and internal navigation and route planning systems, making it easier for the user to control.
During the demonstration phase, TAGVIEW was installed on several M113 Optionally Crewed Combat Vehicles (OCCVs) and put through its paces in a series of planned relocation, logistical and sweep search missions.
“The army requires autonomous capabilities like this to protect our soldiers from harm, removing them from the most dangerous tasks, while still maintaining a human in the loop directing the system," said Lieutenant Colonel Rachael Ayoub, Australian Army’s Robotic and Autonomous Systems Implementation and Coordination Office (RICO).
"The successful demonstration on the M113s shows that through enhancing or augmenting our existing capabilities, we can create trusted autonomy and extend functionality.”
Funded by the Commonwealth of Australia and led by TAS, Australia’s first Defence Cooperative Research Centre (CRC), the TAGVIEW program also involved the University of Melbourne, the University of Adelaide’s Australian Institute of Machine Learning (AIML) and the Commonwealth’s Defence Science and Technology Group (DSTG).
“For a vehicle to operate with any degree of autonomy, it must be able to sense and understand its surroundings. Computer vision and machine learning are the core technologies that unlock this capability to understand the vehicle’s environment," said Professor Ian Reid, University of Adelaide’s Australian Institute for Machine Learning.
“Our experts have been excited to showcase these technologies integrated on a M113 platform for the first time.”