Army preparing for future battlefields with unmanned vehicles

COLLEGE STATION, Tex. (KBTX) - Technology is the way of the future, and the U.S Army is staying ahead of the game. Army Futures Command got a peek into what could be headed their way soon at the Texas A&M RELLIS Campus Thursday morning.

"We are building the future right now," said Geoffrey Howe with Howe & Howe Technologies.

Years of designing and construction have gone into making the seven different combat vehicles at RELLIS this week, but they're different from all the rest.

"We are strong believers that this is going to be a revolutionary change of what our units do," said Col. Warren Sponsler, the Deputy Director for Next Generation Combat Vehicle Cross-Functional Team.

The trucks are operating without a driver and they're built to perform dangerous tasks and lower the risk to soldiers.

"These things can actually integrate into a unit. We can maneuver them, we can fight them, and they can do the same things our manned platforms do, or a lot of the same functions," Col. Sponsler said.

Six different vendors are showing off their products this week through obstacles that test their versatility and functions.

"We can send this machine out miles ahead of any solider, pulls back recon, pulls back information, and has full lethality," Howe said.

The Army uses some smaller unmanned robots right now, but nothing to this extent.

"We don't see them as necessarily replacing our operation, but helping them get more sensors, more lethality, more action in the filed," said Celyn Evans with Pratt & Miller.

These machines are designed to go through heavy forests, steep slopes, and ultimately save the soldiers’ lives.

"We can remove the soldier from deadly situations."

Army Futures says they'll incorporate the characteristics they see in the unmanned vehicles and develop a prototype they hope to roll out as early as FY2024.