Autonomous Impact Protection Vehicle

Autonomous Truck Mounted Attenuator

Autonomous Truck Mounted AttenuatorKratos pioneered the industry for Highly Automated Work Zone vehicles, deploying the world’s first Autonomous Truck Mounted Attenuator (ATMA), also known as Autonomous Impact Protection Vehicle (AIPV). The ATMA/AIPV, developed in partnership with Royal Truck & Equipment, is a critical safety system deployed in slow-moving highway maintenance operations, such as a line painting or sweeping operation, by following behind highway maintenance vehicles as an unmanned mobile crash barrier absorbing the impact of traffic accidentally entering the work zone.

The unmanned ATMA/AIPV concept was leveraged from systems Kratos Defense developed for the U.S. Military to reduce warfighter support of dangerous missions by converting human-driven convoy vehicles with the Multi-Platform Appliqué Kit (M-PAK) into unmanned systems. Aligning with the theme of reducing warfighter exposure to danger, driving a Truck Mounted Attenuator (TMA) vehicle is one of the most dangerous jobs a worker can be assigned in mobile highway operations. As such, Kratos is automating TMA fleet vehicles using M-PAK to enable self-driving capability operating in a multi-vehicle Leader/Follower configuration with a human-driven highway maintenance vehicle (i.e. line striping or road sweeper vehicle). In the Leader/Follower configuration, the system enables the maintenance vehicle (Leader) to transmit navigation data via encrypted V2V communications to the ATMA (Follower), which uses the data to follow behind the Leader completely unmanned as it travels along the route. The ATMA system features component redundancy, an active safety system, high accuracy GPS/GPS-Denied navigation, encrypted V2V communications, multi-modal front and side-view obstacle detection, and a robust User Interface providing system feedback, situational awareness, multi-camera views, and operator controls.

Autonomous Truck Mounted Attenuator

The first ATMA/AIPV systems were successfully deployed in 2017, and currently there are multiple systems deployed across the United States and Europe. Highways are becoming increasingly dangerous due to distracted drivers texting, following too closely, falling asleep, etc., and work zone fatalities from traffic-related crashes average in the hundreds per year. The main goal in developing the ATMA/AIPV was to increase worker safety by removing them from behind the wheel of a vehicle deployed for the sole purpose of operating as a crash barrier. Human-driven TMA vehicles are deployed every day, and the ATMA/AIPV was developed to eliminate this dangerous job so that workers can come home safely. Below are a few links showing the ATMA/AIPV in action:

The ATMA

The Autonomous TMA Truck

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Autonomous Road Safety Vehicle

Colas and US Partners Global Launch of First Autonomous Road Safety Vehicle

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Self-Driving Work Zone Vehicle

Demonstration of World's First Self-Driving Work Zone Vehicle

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