MIRA gets de­fence cash for driver­less ve­hi­cles

Cash to de­velop nav­i­ga­tion sys­tem

Hinckley Times - - NEWS - LUCY LYNCH hinck­ley­[email protected]­plc.com

TECH­NOL­OGY for driver­less mil­i­tary ve­hi­cles is to be de­vel­oped at Horiba MIRA thanks to an £845,000 grant from the Min­istry of De­fence.

The cash will be used to de­velop a nav­i­ga­tion sys­tem for driver­less ve­hi­cles which doesn’t in­volve satel­lites. Most driver­less ve­hi­cles be­ing de­vel­oped use some form of satel­lite nav­i­ga­tion.

But MIRA is work­ing on a sys­tem called AT­LAS that uses ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence and com­puter vi­sion to avoid the prob­lem of satel­lite sig­nals be­ing blocked by in­ter­fer­ence, trees or build­ings.

MIRA engi­neers say the tech­nol­ogy op­er­ates in the same way a hu­man driver uses a map.

The grant will be used to cre­ate ad­vanced pro­to­types. The pro­to­types will be tested at Horiba MIRA and on mil­i­tary sites.

Andy Maloney, chief en­gi­neer for de­fence and un­manned so­lu­tions at Horiba MIRA said: “The AI tech­nol­ogy we are de­vel­op­ing is the first of its kind and pro­vides a whole new level of au­ton­omy for ve­hi­cles where they can per­ceive the en­vi­ron­ment, nav­i­gate their sur­round­ings and ma­noeu­vre with­out the need for ex­ter­nal as­sis­tance from sys­tems such as GPS or GNSS.

“Win­ning the fi­nal phase of the pro­ject means we can bridge the gap be­tween re­search and ac­tual adop­tion of the tech­nol­ogy through pro­duc­ing ad­vanced pro­to­types and prov­ing the ca­pa­bil­ity on key MoD plat­forms.

The stake­holder sup­port and fund­ing from the Min­istry of De­fence and Horiba MIRA en­ables us to max­imise fu­ture ben­e­fits to the UK de­fence sec­tor and re­alise the ex­port po­ten­tial of the tech­nol­ogy.”

At­las sys­tem for driver­less mil­i­tary ve­hi­cles be­ing tested at Horiba MIRA near Hinck­ley

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