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Guy HandApril 7, 20211 min read

The Kelpie - an autonomous vehicle for defence and agriculture

The Australian Road Research Board (ARRB) has been working with Australian-based software and robotics company AOS Group on an exciting project for defence and agriculture.

The Kelpie is an autonomous, off-road ground vehicle developed by AOS Group for work with the Australian Army.

ARRB is working on the safety assurance for the vehicles.

"To have an autonomous vehicle is only half the story. Operating it safely is the other half," AOS Group managing director Dr Andrew Lucas said.

"We have a contract with the Australian Army to develop the Kelpie vehicles to support their radio networks and we're working with ARRB and Army so we can operate those safely."

ARRB has extensive experience in developing safety frameworks for driverless vehicles on public roads, and is applying many of these learnings to the Kelpie project.

"These vehicles are supposed to support two infantry squads in battlefield conditions," ARRB future transport expert Dr Charles Karl said.

"But after the battlefield, they might only fight for two percent of the time. The remaining 98 percent, they are out in the barracks, going through training and moving things around."

ARRB's job is to ensure the correct safety parameters are in place for the vehicles to be safely used both in battle, and importantly around vulnerable road users when not deployed.

For more information on this project, watch the series of short videos below, or contact ARRB at, or visit AOS Group's website at