Autonomous Driving Systems for Military Uncrewed Ground Vehicles

In a partnership to innovate driverless operations for advanced terrains, Kodiak will integrate its ‘Kodiak Driver’ autonomous driving system into a Textron Systems uncrewed military ground vehicle By William Mackenzie / 24 May 2024
Follow DA

Textron Systems Corporation, a Textron Inc. company, has partnered with Kodiak Robotics, Inc. to develop an autonomous military ground vehicle designed for driverless operations in advanced terrain environments. 

Autonomous Driving Systems for Uncrewed Military Vehicles

Developers of uncrewed military ground vehicles, Textron Systems will integrate Kodiak’s advanced autonomous system, the ‘Kodiak Driver’, into a Textron Systems prototype, purpose-built uncrewed military vehicle. 

The collaboration also marks Kodiak’s first integration of its autonomous technology into a vehicle designed without space for a human driver. 

The system being developed by the companies will operate using the same core technology that’s embedded within Kodiak’s autonomous long-haul trucks, which have been validated across nearly 3 million miles of real-world operations.

The vehicle will also feature Kodiak DefensePods, an adapted version of Kodiak’s modular, swappable SensorPods, designed for military use. DefensePods are pre-calibrated, pre-built hardware enclosures that include the sensors necessary for autonomous driving. A technician without specialized training can swap out a DefensePod in the field in 10 minutes or less.

The companies intend to integrate Kodiak’s technology into the Textron Systems uncrewed military vehicle and demonstrate driverless operations later in 2024. Afterwards, Textron Systems and Kodiak intend to jointly explore future opportunities with both the U.S. DoD and the militaries of other allied nations, as they look to accelerate automation into military ground vehicles.

Textron Systems state that deploying uncrewed vehicles to perform high-risk and complex tasks in the field will assist the U.S. military in removing servicemen and women from harm’s way, while enhancing national security.

Textron Systems has extensive experience in developing air, land and sea vehicles. The collaboration with Kodiak, a dual-use autonomous driving company for military and commercial applications, represents a unique model for bringing cutting-edge artificial intelligence (AI) powered, autonomous technologies to military customers. It also demonstrates the readiness of the Kodiak Driver for driverless operations, as well as its adaptability to a diverse range of vehicle types, both on- and off-road.

Kodiak’s collaboration with Textron Systems builds on the company’s expansion to diversify applications of the Kodiak Driver for military vehicles. In December 2023, Kodiak unveiled its first autonomous test vehicle designed specifically for the DoD, a Ford F-150 upfit with Kodiak’s autonomous technology.

Having supported multiple military programs of record, Textron Systems builds on a mature, proven history in supporting the DoD and the its allies. By collaborating with Kodiak, Textron Systems gains access to industry-leading autonomy capabilities, alongside its deep expertise in crewed and uncrewed vehicles.

Textron Systems’ David Phillips, Senior Vice President, Land and Sea Systems, commented; “Textron Systems has designed, developed and manufactured military ground vehicle systems for decades. 

“Joining forces with Kodiak allows us to bring cutting-edge autonomous technology to our industry-leading uncrewed military ground vehicle systems, progressing the functionality, adaptability, reliability and ruggedness of our technologies.

“Integrating our vehicle with Kodiak’s AI-powered autonomy software and pioneering modular DefensePods represents a major step forward in delivering a mission-ready autonomous system.”

Don Burnette, founder and CEO, Kodiak, added; “The future of autonomous military ground vehicles is dual-use technology developers like Kodiak working with industry leaders like Textron Systems. Collaborating with Textron Systems will allow us to showcase the capabilities of Kodiak’s AI-powered, driverless technology in military, off-road environments. Together, we can bring new capabilities to ground systems, supporting the warfighter at the speed of relevance.”

Posted by William Mackenzie Connect & Contact
Latest Articles