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Australian Road Research BoardAugust 15, 20221 min read

Autonomous leader follower convoy being developed for defence

Robotic and autonomous systems have the potential to fundamentally change the way the Army fights, trains and organises itself.

Investment in these technologies is critical to be competitive in the future autonomously-enabled battlespace.

ARRB is partnering with the Institute for Intelligent Systems Research and Innovation (IISRI) of Deakin University in an exciting project.

The aim is to design and build, as a platform agnostic concept demonstrator, an autonomous leader-follower convoy with advanced obstacle avoidance.

A multi-vehicle convoy is being developed and tested at multiple locations. Here testing is being done at the RAAF Point Cook base in Melbourne’s west.

The lead vehicle is being conventionally crewed by a human operator, or being tele-operated remotely by a human controller.

The project is now focused on navigating the challenges associated with the use of autonomous vehicles on public roads, culminating in a simulated logistics delivery from an airport, along a main supply route, to deliver supplies to a tactical field location.

This concept demonstration on public roads will enable Army to develop its capability in the safe operations of its future autonomous systems on Australia’s public road network (and not just on off-road environments). The project will aid Army to understand how and where autonomous vehicles could be best employed for military advantage, informing capability investment decisions into the future.

For more information, contact ARRB’s Mobility Futures team at