DIU selects eight companies to develop RCV software

By Nickolai Sukharev / April 3, 2024 at 7:12 PM

(Editor's note: This story has been updated to reflect that three companies have been added to the original five selected to develop autonomous systems for the Army's Robotic Combat Vehicle.)

The Defense Innovation Unit announced yesterday it has selected Anduril Industries, Overland AI and Palantir Technologies and added them to five companies previously selected to develop autonomous systems for the service's Robotic Combat Vehicle.

“Together, these companies will support the Army’s Robotic Combat Vehicle (RCV) program in developing a robust, capable and compliant software system that can operate in a variety of autonomous modes and rapidly integrate a variety of payloads as they become available,” the April 3 release reads.

The DIU selected Forterra, Kodiak Robotics, Neya Systems and Overland AI to develop the autonomous navigation software for the vehicle while Applied Intuition and Scale AI will develop the machine learning capabilities.

Anduril Industries and Palantir Technologies will be responsible for software system integration.

“We are excited to work with these best-in-class autonomy providers, software experts and systems integrators as we drive towards merging software capabilities developed through the RCV Software Acquisition Pathway (SWP) into the RCV Full System Prototype (FSP),” RCV Product Manager Steve Herrick said in the release.

“Our software system integrators will also be the first to implement Traceability, Observability, Replaceability and automated Consumption (TORC) compliance for Army software-centric ground vehicles, thereby helping the Army ensure programmatic flexibility and performance over time.”

Part of the Army’s human-machine integration efforts, the Robotic Combat Vehicle is designed to conduct reconnaissance missions and protect the flanks of crewed armored units. The vehicle is intended to be attritable will have a flatbed to accommodate both lethal and non-lethal payloads.

The Army initially envisioned light, medium and heavy variants but, in August 2023, prioritized development on the light variant through a middle-tier acquisition pathway and rapid prototyping approach, according to the Congressional Research Service.

In September 2023, the Army down selected General Dynamics, Oshkosh, Textron and HDT to develop prototypes of the vehicle for delivery in August 2024.

While General Dynamics, Oshkosh and Textron are developing tracked vehicles, HDT opted for wheels in their design.