The next big name in self-driving vehicles could be the Pentagon.
Michael Griffin, the undersecretary of defense for research and engineering, told lawmakers at a hearing on Capitol Hill this month, “We’re going to have self-driving vehicles in theater for the Army before we’ll have self-driving cars on the streets. But the core technologies will be the same.”
According to Griffin, 52 percent of casualties in combat zones can be attributed to military personnel delivering food, fuel and other logistics. Removing people from that equation with systems run on artificial intelligence could reduce injuries and deaths significantly.
“You’re in a very vulnerable position when you’re doing that kind of activity,” Griffin said. “If that can be done by an automated unmanned vehicle with a relatively simple AI driving algorithm where I don’t have to worry about pedestrians and road signs and all of that, why wouldn’t I do that?”