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CrusherThe U.S. Army is building a fleet of nasty-named, driverless vehicles. On April 28, 2006, Carnegie Mellon University, DARPA and the Army unveiled the Crusher, a 6.5 ton, six wheeled unmanned ground combat vehicle. It's a hybrid transporter with an electric motor in each of its wheels and a suspension system that can overcome extremely rough terrain.
See Crusher in action.
Crusher, which currently has a top speed of 26 mph, can carry 8,000 pounds of supplies and equipment. It will be used at first in convoys and support roles but is expected to be used alongside troops in five to 10 years.
One of the five finishers of the 2005 DARPA Grand Challenge road race for driverless vehicles is slated for a career in the military. TerraMax was built by Oshkosh Truck Corp., Rockwell Collins and the University of Parma, Italy. On the DARPA Grand Challenge course, the eight-foot-wide defense truck passed through Beer Bottle Pass with just inches to spare between its bumper and a 200-foot sheer cliff. Designed for the U.S. Marine Corps., TerraMax has a 15 ton on-road and 7.1 ton off-road payload capacity.