flying drones within the vicinity of military bases but utilizing military- owned UAVs flying within certain boundaries provides an added layer of intelligence for base security. Toward a More Automated Future While we are seeing more and more CAV technology rolling out in the civilian space, the military has noticeably been more reserved in incor- porating this technology onto bases. It’s not surprising: this technology provides clear benefits yet comes with challenges in a military context. For CAVs to effectively be rolled out on military bases, there needs to be an evolution of infrastructure. Individuals would then be moved around the base much like college campuses resulting in centralized parking versus lots scattered across the base. We would also need to incorporate smart infrastructure throughout the base to control the flow of these vehicles and be flexible enough to incorporate new technology as it is discovered. Currently, CAVs use a combination of sensors and wireless commu- nications to detect and respond to their surroundings. The future of 5G cellular communications is expected to drastically improve the capabilities of CAVs. However, the very nature of these vehicles opens them to cybersecurity concerns that need to be addressed as we begin incorporating this technology on military bases. Capital investment is a major hurdle to a full-scale deployment of CAVs on military bases. The infrastructure does not yet exist in many cases
and so we need to think about how to fund the projects that could make CAV technology a reality. If there is revenue generation that could be applied, the military could leverage this as a private venture. The pri- vate entity would front the cost for these improvements and whichever branch of the military operated the base would pay a revenue stream for the duration of the terms of the agreement. Much like any new technology or innovation, we need to rally commu- nity support around the idea of CAV technology. As it gains momentum for civilian use, we will see more positive use cases that can be applied to using this technology on military bases. To truly move toward a more automated future, we will need partner- ship among the military, businesses and research centers to apply the latest developments in transportation to solve military transportation and logistics issues and create bases that are safer and more efficient.
DAVID BOONE is Chief Growth Officer at Michael Baker International. MALCOLM DOUGHERTY is National Practice Executive of Transportation at Michael Baker International. MATT SMITH is Program Manager at Michael Baker International.
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