By Louie WeinJune 24, 2019
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- "[Our] research will explore solutions to transportation challenges that we all face, whether it is global deployment of military forces, delivery of critical resources to the right place at the right time, transportation options for families and veterans to access medical care, or solving the 'last mile' challenges that will integrate the full community into our transportation system with all of its opportunities."
Maj. Gen. Anthony Funkhouser, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) deputy commanding general for military and international operations, spoke these words at the launch event of Olli at Joint Base Myer Henderson Hall (JBM-HH), June 19, 2019. Olli, a fleet of self-driving or autonomous vehicles (AV), will shuttle service members, families and guests along the main routes of JBM-HH during weekdays and special event weekends for the next 90 days as part of a pilot study for the future uses of AVs.
Through September 2019, data collected from Olli's shuttles will be used to assess the potential of AVs to enhance our military readiness and improve transportation services.
"This project directly links to our Corps of Engineers mission of partnering in peace and war to strengthen our Nation's security, energize the economy, and reduce risks from disasters," said Maj. Gen. Funkhouser.
USACE's Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) is the research lead for this pilot project, which is a joint collaboration between the Army, Marine Corps, state and local government, and private industry. ERDC will assist in the research, development, and data collection from Olli through edge computing, data mining, and deep learning techniques.
The data collected will inform how AV technology operates on a military installation and potentially within its surrounding community by demonstrating AV viability and quantifying the requirements for AV operability, congestion reduction, and cost savings.
At the end of the pilot project, ERDC engineers will collaborate with pilot partners to provide a recommended course of action based on the data collected. This 90-day demonstration of fully operable AV technology has potentially far reaching implications on mobility service policies across the federal government.
For more than 200 years, USACE has engineered solutions for our nation's toughest challenges. USACE has responded to changing defense requirements and played an integral part in the development of our country through our expertise in construction and infrastructure management, engineering, research and design.