News Release

SwRI awarded $34 million contract to support US Army Ground Vehicle Systems Center

SwRI’s Intelligent Systems Division to develop automated vehicle, drone systems

Grant and Award Announcement

Southwest Research Institute


image: SwRI develops autonomous drones and ground vehicles, such as this high mobility multi-purpose wheeled vehicle (HMMWV), for the U.S. Army. view more 

Credit: SwRI

SAN ANTONIO — Aug. 9, 2021 — Southwest Research Institute received an indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity (IDIQ) contract valued at up to $34 million over five years to support the US. Army Ground Vehicle Systems Center through research and development of autonomous and robotic vehicles.

“SwRI is proud to continue developing the latest autonomous and robotic systems for the U.S. military,” said Joseph Hernandez, an SwRI principal engineer overseeing the program. “This IDIQ contract offers a more direct link to our end customers and allows us to provide more innovative solutions to support our warfighters.”

Through the Defense Technical Information Center (DTIC) Information Analysis Center Multiple Award Contract (IAC MAC), SwRI will support project management, research and development, modeling and simulation, software development, systems integration, testing and data analysis services. The contract offers clients options to procure services under specific task orders focusing on robotics and autonomous systems.

SwRI’s work in this space focuses on mobile platforms ranging from compact, purpose-built autonomous vehicles to automated high mobility multi-purpose wheeled vehicles (HMMWVs) and even larger tactical vehicles. SwRI has also developed aerial drones to be integrated with military ground vehicles.

SwRI began developing automated vehicle (AV) technology in 2006 through a multidisciplinary internal research program known as MARTI (Mobile Autonomous Robotics Technology Initiative). The project has evolved to serve military and commercial clients with development of automated systems using sensing, machine learning, and connected and automated vehicle (CAV) technologies.

For more than a decade, SwRI has supported the Army with development of autonomous robotic vehicle systems. SwRI’s robotics systems have been integrated onto more than 15 unique military ground vehicle platforms, some of which were deployed overseas as part of the Dismounted Soldier Autonomy Tools (DSAT) program.

SwRI has also played a key role in the development of the Robotics Technology Kernel (RTK), an autonomy software library that provides a set of common robotic capabilities across a variety of vehicle platforms.


Learn more on Aug. 10-12 at the Ground Vehicle Systems Engineering & Technology Symposium & Advanced Planning Briefing for Industry (GVSETS) in Novi, Michigan. SwRI will be exhibiting in Booth No. 111. 

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