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How autonomous tech is becoming an integral part of the defense industry in the US?

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The role of autonomous technology can be seen as limited to only the transport sector for commercial purposes. However, the scenario is not the same for the US.

The most powerful country in the world with the latest and high-tech defense weapons or arms. Is no doubt being swayed by autonomous technology? The DARPA, Pentagon, was very well invested in the technologies such as the internet and GPS, and so it does in driverless technology.

Anything that can hugely boost your latest technology is its usage in the military industry. The smartest people using the high tech gadgets, every citizen would like to be a part of that technology.

In 2004, DARPA conducted the “Grand Challenge”, with prize money of millions for scrappy competitors. The challenge was to complete DARPA’s 142-mile course with an autonomous vehicle. Nobody was able to finish the challenge, however, the challenge got to put up again in 2005 and 2007.

The main issue is with the security and eliminating the hacking possibilities. As per the discussion from Jane A. LeClair (professor and chief operating officer at the Washington Center for Cybersecurity Research & Development), stated in the Gizmodo, “Officials at the DoD should be concerned with the hacking of AVs”.

Looking at the security concern, the major way to eliminate such fears is by collecting more real-time data and using it for more practical research-based experiments. As per Gizmodo, the DoD is eagerly collecting more amount of data and sensors required for the AVs. They are monitoring the autonomous advancements in companies like John Deere for more off-road applications.

The company is well-known for its fully autonomous tractor with a GPS with 12 cameras for 360-degree obstacle detection. The view by Jaine A. Le Clair on autonomous technology,

 “Autonomous devices are showing great promise in the air and at sea,”  “But the complexity of a land battlefield is a whole different environment for an AV to operate in. If the system of a Tesla has a hiccup, problems are limited but on the battlefield, an error can be devastating.”

A battlefield is a place where the technology needs to be 100% secured and no tolerance for any sort of error. The defense area where the soldiers are completely relying on the arms and weapons to protect the zones needs more than what the present autonomous tech is assuring.

As suggested by LeClair, “I’m all for taking the man out of the machine and not putting our troops in undo danger,” “Perhaps the DoD should concentrate on the transport of supplies and equipment via AV…in support role not on the battlefield yet.”

I do feel, that the autonomous tech can be used as a supplementary or assistant rather than being used completely on the battlefield.

The recent involvement of Autonomous tech by DARPA is a 30-minute autonomous test flight of a UH-60A Black Hawk helicopter without a human on board. It is due to an experiment Aircrew Labor In-Cockpit Automation System (ALIAS) system.

In the simulated dogfights, F-16 is already been controlled by the AI. The goal of DARPA by 2024, is to showcase 4 AI-powered L-39 jets in a live dogfight over Lake Ontario.

One thing is for sure, with more secured AI-controlled flights can help in reducing the risk of jet fighter pilots. It is adventurous, high adrenalin risk-taking skills, but in the long run, it saves the risk of the pilot’s life.

But, do you think, the jet fighter pilots will be happy to let AI or heavy machinery helicopters be driven by technology rather than enjoying the control of such machines.

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