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56 A manufacturer of specialised military vehicles based in Devon, England, Supacat anticipates a need for autonomous capabilities short of the SAE Level 5 definition of full autonomy. What it believes the military wants at this stage are vehicles that can carry out some tasks autonomously as part of a broad mission set supporting troops on the battlefield in roles such as resupply and reconnaissance. Supacat has chosen its existing six- wheeled All-Terrain Mobility Platform (ATMP), for which it is also developing an electric/hybrid drivetrain, as the subject for a technology demonstrator that would be capable of carrying out a series of autonomous roles, including those envisaged by the UK Ministry of Defence’s Autonomous Last Mile Resupply competition. The demonstrator is based on a remotely operated ATMP fitted with a range of sensors, including Lidar and stereo cameras to build up a virtual 3D model of the terrain through which it drives. Testing is being carried out mainly on the company’s in-house test track at Dunkeswell airfield, near its base, through which it is learning about and embedding autonomous functionality during the course of the project. “We want to get to a point where we could be an autonomous system supplier,” engineering director Steve Austen says. He adds that Supacat could have partnered with another company Peter Donaldson explains how this UGV aimed at the armed forces combines autonomy with the option of manned or remote operation Military intelligence December/January 2020 | Unmanned Systems Technology The ATMP has been tested initially as a pure electric, remotely operated platform while the autonomy software is being developed (Images courtesy of Supacat)