(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.

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.

“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.





Comments (10)
  1. LOL, it’s GOT to be better than some of the morons with driver’s licenses

    1. Yup, our troops died to protect your right to write asinine posts.

    2. Donna Chan says:

      They say that the self driving car will be better in some ways, and I think they may well be right. Humans lack the ability to concentrate for any real length of time, and repetitive tasks ease us into mindlessness. Computers can hold speed and distance with far more accuracy than a human, never gets bored or angry or drunk and can recognize patterns. The patterns are actually there in the highway code.

      My one question is this – Would the passengers be liable for any accidents? Would Google be liable? It seems like a mess. I have a good driving record and enjoy pretty cheap insurance rates ($25/month from Insurance Panda.. woohoo!). I also enjoy taking my car out for a spin and enjoying the ‘freedom’ of being able to drive anywhere. Will the driverless car allow all this? If not, I’ll have to pass.

      Who knows? Maybe insurance as we know it will go away, replaced by any number of models that would more accurately represent the new risk distribution.

  2. I want to see an entire robot army

    1. No you don’t, don’t forget they would be controlled by crooked politicians.

  3. So long 88M. I guess I got out before I became obsolete.

  4. Can’t wait for the lawsuits to start flying on this one. I guess it doesn’t matter…we pay for it either way.

  5. Cathy Joe says:

    Make sure to add a self destruct to the electronic package

  6. The truck system that the Army is proposing is so devoid of proper security controls that they are dangerous. The army doesn’t even have basic understanding of the security needed.

  7. Great…how long until the system is hacked and the vehicles re-routed? Supplies, armaments, etc..Inevitable

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