As part of the company's Autonomous Navigation System contract with the U.S. Army, the Phase I experiment is designed to test basic robotic convoy functionality and accuracy with obstacle detection and avoidance technology.
The test vehicles were a Stryker Infantry Carrier Vehicle and Light Medium Tactical Vehicle (LMTV).
"We received positive results from our team at White Sands," said Phil Cory, president of General Dynamics Robotic Systems. "The current preparations position us for a successful Phase II experiment in July 2008."
Stryker, LMTV and Medium Tactical Vehicles (MTV) are expected to be used during Phase II testing.
The robotic experiment is being funded under a contract to develop the Autonomous Navigation System for FCS. General Dynamics was awarded the task order because of its technology development on previous robotic convoy experiments and demonstrations.
The Army's mammoth Future Combat Systems push is "arguably the most complex" modernization project the Defense Department has ever pursued, according to the Government Accountability Office's Paul Francis.
So complex, in fact, that the Army figured it couldn't pull off FCS by itself. The service just didn't have the know-how to manage something as big, as ambitious as remaking just about everything in its inventory -- tanks, artillery, drones, you name it -- and then building a brand new, absolutel y titanic operating system and set of wireless networks, to tie it all together. Forget a traditional defense contract; the Army needed an industrial partner, instead -- some company that could watch over the zillions of moving parts needed to make FCS work. Eventually, the service settled on Boeing as that partner, or "Lead Systems Integrator," in Pentagonese (cont..)