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Autonomous Mobility Applique System (AMAS): Overview

The Autonomous Mobility Applique System (AMAS) provides a low-cost/low-risk, kit-based solution to retrofit active safety, semi-autonomy and autonomy capability onto any vehicle in the military’s logistics fleet. AMAS offers Driver Warning/Driver Assist functionality, Leader-Follower convoy operations, Waypoint following capabilities and provides growth to fully autonomous operations.

The AMAS Driver Warning/Driver Assist mode assists a driver in tasks such as avoiding obstacles/collisions, maintaining a safe distance from the vehicle ahead and maintaining position in a driving lane. Convoy operations can be both tiring and stressful, so implementing a driver-assist system that is capable of providing for the basic continued operation of the vehicle removes that stress from the soldier/driver and allows them to be more vigilant of their surroundings. The AMAS Leader-Follower mode provides capability to link a large number of vehicles together as a cohesive convoy so the follower vehicles can operate without a person in the driver’s seat. Ultimately, AMAS allows soldiers to be soldiers, not truck drivers. 

AMAS technology improves soldier safety and battlefield survivability for the Ground Distribution fleet using these autonomy and semi-autonomy capabilities to increase crew situational awareness and cognition while reducing vehicle collisions and driver fatigue. Reducing accidents results in saved lives and reduced injuries, reductions in loss of materiel and cargo, and reduced missed opportunity costs.

Successful Testing

An AMAS Operational Demonstration and Military User Assessment (MUA) was conducted at Savannah River Site, Aiken, South Carolina, in the summer of 2014 to demonstrate the maturity of the AMAS technology.  Soldiers and Marines operated multiple AMAS equipped vehicles in a series of vignettes developed to present all of the AMAS modes and functions in operationally realistic scenarios to allow the test conductors to gather data for the MUA. The assessment resulted in a positive recommendation to continue development with anticipated transition of the technology to a program of record.

More recently, Lockheed Martin demonstrated Driver Warning/Driver Assist capability during a safety assessment leading to a successful soldier test and demonstration at Aberdeen Proving Ground in December 2015.  Lockheed Martin continued its history of working closely with the Army test and safety community to obtain a safety release for the soldier test.

In the Aberdeen tests, soldiers drove four AMAS-equipped M915 line-haul trucks, which are similar to commercial tractor-trailers.  During the testing, the soldiers operated the vehicles and evaluated a wide range of Driver Warning and Driver Assist functions such as Collision Mitigation Braking, Adaptive Cruise Control and Lane Keeping Assist.  The demonstration once again successfully showcased the AMAS safety technology that will save soldiers’ lives and reduce equipment loss due to accidents. 

The Future

The technology being developed and demonstrated under the AMAS Program is aimed at transition to programs for retrofitting existing logistics trucks and for introduction into new production logistics trucks. AMAS technology is also being propagated into the Autonomous Ground Resupply program, which will extend AMAS into fully autonomous operation.  Finally, AMAS technology is the foundation for products in development by Lockheed Martin aimed at autonomous vehicles for industrial and commercial operations.

Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control is the prime contractor and prime integrator for the AMAS effort. The United States Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC) is the acquiring agency and technical manager.