- RAF Brize Norton, Kar-Go . Named is working with the Academy of Robotics on an electric, self-driving vehicle
- It is distributing equipment, equipment and supplies around the Royal Air Force Base at Bridge Norton in Oxfordshire.
- A security team monitors Car-Go’s journey from a mobile command hub called Athena inside a modified coach
The Royal Air Force is testing its own autonomous vehicle to deliver supplies around a base in Oxfordshire to ‘free up personnel from mundane tasks’.
Its specially designed self-driving car, called the Car-Go, is a zero-emissions delivery vehicle capable of traveling at speeds of up to 60 miles/h.
It is zipping around the Royal Air Force Base of Bridge Norton in Oxfordshire, distributing equipment, equipment and supplies to personnel as part of a trial.
Upon arrival at their destination at the base, RAF personnel are met by CAR-GO and a hatch is automatically released from which they can collect cargo.
A bit odd in appearance, the Car-Go looks like a giant green computer mouse with raised wheels, complete with flashing lights and a giant boot.
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The strange looking vehicle, currently being used as part of Royal Air Force testing, has the appearance of a giant green computer mouse with raised wheels
According to the Royal Air Force, by transporting various cargoes, the Auxiliary Green Vehicle frees RAF human personnel from mundane tasks.
The car-go is pictured here with Squadron Leader Tony Seston, RAF engineer and Astra ambassador, at the Royal Air Force Base at Breeze Norton in Oxfordshire.
The Car-Go is a zero-emissions delivery vehicle, powered by electricity, and capable of speeds of up to 60 miles per hour.
top speed: 60mph
autonomy level: 4
designer: Robotics Academy
Shape: The equivalent of a standard small car.
weight: about 500kg
Employees of RAF Breeze Norton are working with the Academy of Robotics, a Sussex-based technology company, on a trial.
If successful, the RAF may also scale up its autonomous vehicles at some point in the future to carry loads as large as the tires of its aircraft.
Squadron Leader Tony Seston, RAF Engineer and Astra Ambassador, said, “Bringing self-driving technology to the base offers many benefits.
‘Eventually, we can see fleets of autonomous vehicles with different autonomy levels delivering supplies, parts, equipment, food and also providing airspace services such as aircraft refueling, runway sweeping and snow and ice clearance.’
For security reasons, only trained and authorized personnel may move baggage around the airbase.
But the use of safe, autonomous vehicles can free up their time to focus on the core roles they were trained for.
Car-Go is also electric, which means it reduces harmful greenhouse gas emissions and could help the RAF towards its pre-made pledge to become net zero by 2040.
Net zero means that any emissions will be balanced by plans to offset an equal amount of greenhouse gases from the atmosphere.
Upon arrival at their destination at the base, recipients are met by Car-Go and a hatch is automatically released enabling them to collect cargo
Employees of RAF Breeze Norton are working with Robotics Academy, a West Sussex-based technology firm, on testing.
Five levels of autonomous driving
level 1 – A small amount of control is accomplished by the system such as adaptive braking if a car gets too close.
level 2 – The system can control the speed and direction of the car allowing the driver to temporarily remove their hand, but they have to monitor the road at all times and be prepared to handle it.
level 3 – The driver is not required to monitor the system all the time in some specific cases such as on a highway but must be ready to resume control at the request of the system.
level 4 – The system can automatically withstand all conditions within defined use but it may not be able to withstand all weather or road conditions. The system will rely on high definition mapping.
level 5 – Full automation. The system can withstand all weather, traffic and lighting conditions. It can go anywhere, at any time.
pay attention: Level 0 Often used to describe vehicles fully controlled by a human driver.
Car-Go performs autonomous and semi-autonomous processes with security team monitoring from a unique mobile command hub called Athena. (the RAF assumes at any point where they switch to the human operator as a semi autonomous one.)
The ‘Athena’ command hub is a secure mobile unit within a modified mobile unit…