Issue 37 Unmanned Systems Technology April/May 2021 Einride next-gen Pod l Battery technology l Dive Technologies AUV-Kit l UGVs insight l Vanguard EFI/ETC vee twins l Icarus Swarms l Transponders l Sonobot 5 l IDEX 2021 report

The platooning of the logging trucks will use a fused stream of data from onboard GNSS, inertial and radar sensors, to target the forward vehicle and mimic its path accurately. It is also worth noting that such a platooning capability has already been designed by Provectus into the Rheinmetall Mission Master UGV, which is now in use around the world. This autonomous off-road vehicle is produced by Rheinmetall for battlefield operations including ‘mule’ (pack- carrying) and medical evacuation tasks. It is also available as an armed reconnaissance variant that features long-range EO/IR sensors, a radar for surveillance, a 360 º full ring camera, a laser rangefinder and a laser designator to identify potential threats. Scheib adds, “We’re located at a centre in Ottawa that has more than 16 km of controlled-access roadways for testing autonomous road vehicles. We’ll start testing our logging trucks there, and we’ve agreed with the NFMC that initially we’ll use pick-up trucks for that, which we already have and are converting to drive-by-wire. “We’ll install our autonomy software and sensor suite on them. We aim to start on-location trials in northern Ontario in around June-July this year, then probably graduate to full-sized autonomous logging trucks in the fall and winter.” Provectus is also working with companies such as mining telecoms provider Meglab, to use self-driving vehicles to transport tools and other items between underground workstations and workshops above ground. “We expect to have at least one to three pilot projects involving autonomous industrial vehicles across mining and logging to be running by the end of this year – coronavirus willing of course,” Scheib says. Conclusion It is clear that industry sectors around the world can better safeguard peoples’ health through automated vehicles, and the underlying technology works well enough for many public safety authorities to approve its use. Future developments to help end-users further are likely to be aimed at reducing the operating costs or purchase price of such vehicles, or some means of improving their productivity. For example, r&d into reducing energy expenditure and replacement parts requirements, or into predictive maintenance analytics, would ensure that cities’ costs of living do not spike as a result of adopting these UGVs in large quantities. Such advances could certify UGVs as not simply useful purchases towards ‘virus-proofing’ our day-to-day lives, but as sorely needed investments for enhancing the public good. UGVs | Insight More than just an IMU, a complete solution. Applanix Direct Georeferencing o ers Powerful hardware and software integrated solutions Industry-leading customer support Reduced costs, improved e ciency of aerial survey