Pentagon Experiments with Self-Driving Shuttles at San Diego Military Base

Pentagon Experiments with Self-Driving Shuttles at San Diego Military Base

Driverless technology provider Robotic Research and Verizon Public Sector on Wednesday confirmed their cooperative involvement in a pilot project to explore the use of autonomous shuttles at the Marine Corps Air Station, or MCAS, Miramar’s 5G Living Lab in San Diego.

NavalX SoCal Tech Bridge, US Ignite and Local Motors are also involved in this 90-day experiment with self-moving shuttles to transport people and packages around the military installation.“This pilot is one example of how 5G-enabled applications carry the potential of enhancing operational effectiveness,” Verizon’s Senior Vice President of Public Sector Jennifer Chronis told Nextgov Wednesday.

The announcement comes almost a year after Verizon and MCAS Miramar unveiled their plans to deploy the former’s 5G Ultra Wideband on a military base for the very first time. Working with a range of strategic partners, they’ve since started to demonstrate 5G-enabled innovations across artificial intelligence, self-driving vehicles and drones in real-world scenarios at the living lab. Broadly, those involved are assessing the benefits such next-generation wireless capabilities can bring to public safety, commerce and energy management. 

“Working in conjunction with our partners in the Marine Corps at Miramar, we have created a true testbed for innovation—innovation that will have tremendous impact within the Department of Defense and across the public sector,” Chronis said.

This endeavor is new, but Chronis added that Robotic Research’s “commitment to MCAS Miramar began far before this pilot.” The company has been providing the Pentagon with autonomous technology solutions for nearly 20 y ..