Autonomous vehicles collect and process data from their environments, taking actions that can either help or replace drivers. OCIA assesses that these vehicles will benefit society by improving road safety and reducing deaths, injuries, and costs associated with collisions. Autonomous vehicles will also likely lead to a decrease in traffic congestion, decreasing fuel consumption and emissions per mile, and helping save drivers’ money and time. However, as vehicles become increasingly connected and a part of the Internet of Things, vulnerabilities and potential consequences are likely to increase unless cybersecurity is better integrated into vehicle design and development. Legal and regulatory gaps exist on issues such as collision liability and safety standards; if these gaps are not addressed, cities and states might implement their own laws and regulations, creating inefficiencies for automobile manufacturers, shipping companies, and drivers. Moreover, fully autonomous vehicles will likely have an adverse effect on the professional driver workforce when bus, taxi, and truck drivers are eventually replaced.
Unmanned Ground Systems consist of a powered physical system with no human operator on aboard the principal platform, which can act, either operated remotely or with some degree of autonomy, to accomplish assigned tasks. Unmanned Ground Systems may be mobile or stationary, can be smart learning, self-adaptive, and includes all associated supporting components such as Operator Control Units (OCU).
The PM RS JPO initiated development of an integrated GRMP in response to direction from senior Army and Marine Corps leadership in 2005. The GRMP is intended to provide Army and Marine Corps ground robotic stakeholders a common information resource document, as well as a comprehensive plan that links robotic S&T Projects and Acquisition/Contingency Programs to User Current Capability Gaps, Future Capability Gaps, and S&T Shortfalls. The pressing need for reliable ground robotic systems capable of detecting and warning of the presence of hidden improvised explosive devices (IEDs), chemical and biological agents, and related threats to ground troops employed by insurgents in combat zones greatly increases the importance of making every S&T dollar count toward filling critical User capability gaps. In addition, the GRMP provides decision makers a tool for making critical resource decisions.
The Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Strategic Studies Group (SSG) is chartered with generating revolutionary naval warfighting concepts. SSG XXVIII has been tasked to generate innovative concepts for the operational and tactical employment of unmanned systems, in all domains, as an integral part of the Naval Force for 2020 and beyond. From these innovative concepts, SSG XXVIII is also tasked to produce recommendations and actionable steps for implementation of unmanned systems integration into the Navy’s force structure. This Way Ahead Plan provides a framework for SSG XXVIII’s approach to address this task and challenge. It includes a summary of the SSG’s preliminary thoughts on the value of unmanned systems, an initial overarching concept, and associated concept teams and areas of interest.