DEFENCE AND SECURITY
Hosted by Dr Dithoto Modungwa, CSIR Research Group Leader: Tactical Mobility
Based on a substantial track record in soldier safety systems, the CSIR is undertaking work into the development of autonomous vehicles geared towards removing humans from dangerous situations and also to act as force multipliers.
Vehicles should be suited to the South African context. This takes into consideration the navigation of unstructured environments, which often include unmarked routes, off-road and informal routes, or deteriorated road surfaces. It requires expertise in automated steering, braking, gearing and acceleration, path planning, decision-making and utilisation of on-board sensors for situational awareness – needed for lane changing, park distance control, obstacle tracking and avoidance, as well as algorithms for autonomous navigation. The end-goal is a development approach for vehicles and mobile platforms for both military and civilian applications. The CSIR undertakes the research in partnership with tertiary and research institutions to help ensure that the field is embedded in future frontiers of science, as well as to create new employment opportunities, new platforms and new industries. This includes the potential creation of business spin offsand skills for smart manufacturing, maintenance and services.