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Evolutionary Revolution: Esper’s Army Modernization Philosophy

The Army has made significant progress in developing self-driving kits for existing trucks that let them follow a manned vehicle in convoy, something called “leader-follower” technology. That’s a far cry from independent maneuver across the battlefield, but it’s also a big improvement over always needing a human driver in each vehicle. And a vehicle that can do leader-follower today might be upgraded to operate more independently in the future. “We can do leader-follower right now; I was in one of those first vehicles in Michigan a few weeks ago,” Esper said. “But I want to make sure as I build that first vehicle — because I need it now — (that) it has on board sufficient power, computing space, room inside the vehicle to accommodate fully developed semi autonomous and fully autonomous (technologies).” Ultimately, “whoever gets to robotics and AI first, it’ll be a game changer on the battlefield,” Esper told reporters…. Source: Breaking Defense Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. May 16, 2018