Oshkosh Defense gets Army contract to automate vehicles

Oshkosh Palletized Load System (PLS) truck with trailer. (Photo source: Oshkosh defense)

OSHKOSH (WLUK) -- Oshkosh Defense will be adding self-driving technology to some vehicles as part of a $49 million contract with the U.S. Army.

The company says the vehicles will allow soldiers to be removed from the vehicles in highly contested areas. Under the contract, Oshkosh will initially convert 70 palletized load system (PLS) vehicles, with an option for as many as 150 vehicles total.

“The PLS has been an integral part of the U.S. Army’s resupply and distribution fleet for over 25 years,” Pat Williams, Vice President and General Manager of Army and Marine Corps programs for Oshkosh Defense, said in a news release. “By equipping these vehicles with autonomous capabilities, we can significantly reduce our soldiers’ exposure to enemy threats by taking them out of the vehicle altogether.”

Oshkosh Defense says its autonomous technology is designed for both manned and unmanned operations, can be integrated into either new or existing vehicles, and can be operated in several modes from fully autonomous to leader-follower to remote operation. Soldiers can be trained to operate the vehicles in just a few days.

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