27 Sep 2018

British Autonomous technology put to the test in CUE 18

Canadian forces have put British autonomous technology able to scour urban environments for enemy advances through its paces alongside an arsenal of futuristic military technology on the streets of Montreal.

The revolutionary technology developed by the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) and UK industry partners, known as SAPIENT, saw British sensors making autonomous decisions, such as what and how to monitor activities, as they searched a mock urban battlefield in the Canadian city and flagged dangers to soldiers taking part in the experiment.

The tech was put to the test in the Contested Urban Environment experiment (or CUE 18) – the biggest experiment of its kind in recent years – bringing together brings Five Eyes allied nations of the Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the UK and USA to put the very latest cutting-edge technology in the hands of soldiers on the ground.

With current in-service technology, troops have to man live feeds from systems similar to CCTV cameras to monitor enemy movement during urban operations on complex city streets. The SAPIENT tech takes that load off the soldier and reduces the risk of human error, as well as reducing troops in the operations room – freeing them up for other military activity.

The British system was featured alongside a whole host of experimental tech from a range of nations, including robotic exoskeleton suits to help soldiers with the burden of heavy loads, night vision and surveillance systems. British troops are also expected to test the tech in the UK in the future.

Defence Minister Stuart Andrew said: “This British system can act as autonomous eyes in the urban battlefield. This technology can scan streets for enemy movements so troops can be ready for combat with quicker, more reliable information on attackers hiding around the corner.

“Investing millions in advanced technology like this will give us the edge in future battles. It also puts us in a really strong position to benefit from similar projects run by our allies as we all strive for a more secure world.”

image © Crown Copyright

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