CDOT and Partners Deploy World’s First Self-Driving Work Zone Vehicle

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Autonomous Vehicle Designed to Be Hit to Protect Road Workers

Fort Collins, CO (PRWEB) August 18, 2017

The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) today unveiled a first-of-its kind work zone vehicle designed to advance safety for roadway maintenance crews. Customarily positioned behind road construction crews in order to protect workers from the traveling public, the Autonomous Impact Protection Vehicle (AIPV) increases work zone safety by removing the driver from a truck that is actually designed to be hit.

CDOT and a host of partners showcased the AIPV in action without a driver behind the wheel during a live roadway striping operation in Fort Collins, Colorado. As part of its RoadX program, CDOT and partners at Colas UK, Royal Truck & Equipment and Kratos Defense and Security Solutions, adapted military technology for use in the AIPV that uses a rear-mounted attenuator (or crash cushion) to absorb or deflect vehicles that cross into work zones.

To view video of the AIPV in Colorado, visit http://bit.ly/AIPVbroll.
To view video of the AIPV in the United Kingdom, visit bit.ly/2wfk0GN.
To download video footage and photos of the AIPV in Colorado, visit bit.ly/AIPVCDOT.

“Just in the last four years, there have been 26 incidents where a member of the traveling public struck a CDOT impact protection vehicle — that’s almost seven per year,” said Shailen Bhatt, CDOT Executive Director. “This is a dangerously high number when you consider that in some instances, a CDOT employee is sitting in the driver’s seat of the vehicle that was hit. By using self-driving technology, we’re able to take the driver out of harm’s way while still effectively shielding roadside workers.”

Between 2000 and 2014, Colorado has seen 21,898 crashes and 171 fatalities in work zones. According to the Federal Highway Administration, in work zones in 2015, there was a crash every 5.4 minutes, 70 crash-related injuries every day, and 12 crash-related fatalities every week. The AIPV is designed to reduce these numbers by using technology to mimic the position, speed and direction of a lead vehicle that transmits a signal to the trailing driverless vehicle, ensuring the AIPV is always correctly positioned between roadway workers and live traffic.

“Today’s demonstration proves that technology can take transportation safety to a new level and forever improve the way we work,” Bhatt said.

Prior to today’s live roadway operation, CDOT conducted extensive testing of the AIPV’s emergency stopping and obstacle detection systems. Testing also confirmed the vehicle’s ability to stay in its lane and make tight turns.

CDOT’s partnership with Colas UK, Royal Truck & Equipment, and Kratos Defense was pivotal in deploying this technology. Colas, a private company that provides civil engineering, maintenance and construction services in the United Kingdom, is testing the same technology for use in work zones, and is sharing test methods and lessons learned with CDOT. Royal Truck & Equipment built the AIPV using the latest technology, including the industry’s largest variable message board mounted to the truck. Kratos Defense designed the hardware and software needed to provide the driverless capability to the AIPV.

To see the AIPV in action, view the livestream of the demonstration at CDOT’s Facebook page (facebook.com/coloradodot) or YouTube page (youtube.com/cdotmedia).

“We are dedicated to advancing health and safety issues and will continue to invest in cutting-edge research and development projects to benefit our employees, clients and the wider industry,” said Lee Rushbrooke, Colas CEO. “We are extremely excited about this new technology and are looking forward to giving this a global reach to save lives of road workers across the world.”

“The partnership opportunity between Colas Ltd and Colorado DOT that Royal Truck & Equipment has been given to launch this new autonomous technology is unparalleled,” said Rob Roy, President of Royal Truck & Equipment. “We know autonomous impact protection vehicle will change the safety standards in this industry, and these passionate partners will help advance the cause.”

“The primary objective of the Kratos Defense Unmanned Systems Division has always been to develop advanced robotic and autonomous systems utilized to ensure the safety of the Warfighter by eliminating the need for them to perform dull, dirty, and often dangerous tasks,” said Maynard Factor of Kratos Defense and Security Solutions. “Partnering with Royal Truck & Equipment, CDOT and Colas to leverage the technology we originally developed for the U.S. Military to now serve the road construction industry and enhance safety in the work zone is a great achievement and we are proud to be a part of the team.”

RoadX is CDOT’s bold vision and commitment to being a national leader in using innovative technology to create travel in Colorado that’s free of crashes, injuries and delays. To learn more about this rapid, fast-paced venture to transform our aging transportation system, visit roadx.codot.gov.

Next Evolution of the Kratos Mako Tactical Unmanned Aerial Drone System Completes Successful Flight Test Series

SAN DIEGO, Aug. 10, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Kratos Defense & Security Solutions, Inc. (Nasdaq:KTOS), a leading National Security Solutions provider recently completed a flight test series evaluating the next evolution of the UTAP-22 Mako Unmanned Aerial System that was first introduced and demonstrated in late 2015.  The Mako has been enhanced with a suite of mission systems typically employed on manned aircraft and now integrated with the unmanned Mako drone system.  By combining the Mako’s autonomous capabilities previously demonstrated through single UAS, multi-UAS, and manned/unmanned collaborative operations with the latest mission set capability, the operational utility of the Mako is now established at the next level.
For information on the introduction of the system and corresponding flight tests, see the Kratos Press releases regarding, “UTAP-22” from December 2015.

About Kratos Defense & Security Solutions
Kratos Defense & Security Solutions, Inc. (NASDAQ:KTOS) develops transformative, affordable technology for the Department of Defense and commercial customers. Kratos is changing the way breakthrough technology for these industries are brought to market through proactive research and a streamlined development process. Kratos specializes in unmanned systems, satellite communications, cyber security/warfare, microwave electronics, missile defense, training and combat systems.  For more information go to www.kratosdefense.com.

Notice Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
Certain statements in this press release may constitute “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements are made on the basis of the current beliefs, expectations and assumptions of the management of Kratos and are subject to significant risks and uncertainty. Investors are cautioned not to place undue reliance on any such forward-looking statements. All such forward-looking statements speak only as of the date they are made, and Kratos undertakes no obligation to update or revise these statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. Although Kratos believes that the expectations reflected in these forward-looking statements are reasonable, these statements involve many risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially from what may be expressed or implied in these forward-looking statements. For a further discussion of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ from those expressed in these forward-looking statements, as well as risks relating to the business of Kratos in general, see the risk disclosures in the Annual Report on Form 10-K of Kratos for the year ended December 25, 2016, and in subsequent reports on Forms 10-Q and 8-K and other filings made with the SEC by Kratos.

Press Contact:

Yolanda White

858-812-7302 Direct

 

Investor Information:

877-934-4687

investor@kratosdefense.com

 

Source: Kratos Defense & Security Solutions, Inc.

 

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