The Fort Carson Smart Transportation Testbed is a $4 million program designed to test the viability of autonomous vehicles and sensor-based technologies in an effort to: reduce military transportation costs, deliver faster services on site, and improve overall public safety. The program is a joint effort of US Ignite, Fort Carson, the city of Colorado Springs, and the University of Colorado’s Research and Engineering Center for Unmanned Vehicles (RECUV). It is funded and managed by the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC).
Feature: Mountain Express Automated Shuttle Service Debuts
Fort Carson is celebrating the launch of the Mountain Express Automated Shuttle! The Mountain Express is providing passenger service on the post as part of a yearlong effort to test automated vehicle technologies and collect data for future transportation modeling on smart military installations across the country.
The electric vehicle is capable of performing all driving functions independently under certain conditions. As a safety precaution, the vehicle has an operator on board at all times with the ability to take over manual controls. The Mountain Express runs a three-mile route every weeknight at Fort Carson from 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
Phase one of the Fort Carson Smart Transportation Testbed begins with the deployment of two automated shuttles on site. As the program develops, the research team will explore on and off-post automated delivery vehicles and shuttles.
The program also includes a sophisticated data sharing initiative between Fort Carson and Colorado Springs. Smart sensors will be used at the military site to monitor traffic, parking, and public safety.
Information from Fort Carson will be linked to data from sensors and mapping systems in Colorado Springs. Researchers will apply analytics to these datasets to improve safety and services, and eventually to develop machine-learning models that prioritize transportation resources based on usage rates and community needs.
- Shuttle Launch: Mountain Express Automated Shuttle Service Debuts at Fort Carson
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This research will advance the U.S. ability to leverage autonomous transportation systems to improve mission readiness and mission assurance at installations in areas that include infrastructure, operations, security, economics, communications, and planning to meet our National defense objectives. Smart military posts, like smart cities around the country, must explore advancements in mobility and automation that leverage sensors and big data to optimize operational efficiencies and improve the lives of Soldiers and their families. Jim P. Allen, PE, ERDC program manager