(WWJ) We’re going to soon see some Army trucks driving themselves along a stretch of Michigan Highway.

That will be discussed on Mackinac Island this week during the Mackinac Policy Conference, a yearly event where movers and shakers meet to discuss pressing topics affecting the state.

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WWJ Auto Beat Reporter Jeff Gilbert explains a year into a special connected highway system on Highway 69, the Army is ready to move to the next level. For the past year, convoys have been moving down the connected stretch testing the technology.

Paul Rogers, who heads up the Army’s research efforts, says phase one, which involves checking out the communications equipment, has gone well.

“We also want the Army vehicles to drive themselves,” he said.

The next step is to run them in fully automated mode with safety drivers on board just in case something goes wrong.

The next test involves driving across the Blue Water Bridge.

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“You’re crossing a steel girder bridge and you look for the different radar reflections, whether or not your system gets confused or not,” Rogers said.

The obvious intent is to keep soldiers safe by eventually sending unmanned vehicles into treacherous situations.

 

 

 

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