The Maryland-based technology company has successfully road-tested its autonomous tactical recovery vehicle. Currently undisclosed technological advances will be made publicly available by CEO Deepak Jain in hopes that stimulating further research & development will speed public acceptance of driver-less vehicles on public roadways. 

BALTIMORE, MD – April 1, 2016AiNET® announced the successful road-testing of its autonomous tactical recovery vehicle, dubbed “SCR (Server Crash Rescue) 50,” a reclaimed 1991 Amertek Aircrash Rescue and Fire Fighting vehicle. Proprietary software coupled with advancements made to existing autonomous vehicle steering and acceleration integration fixtures, as well as a patent-pending LIDAR and laser range-finding camera-mounts, produced the first successful test of a vehicle larger than a 4 door sedan to date.

The test consisted of a 50-mile loop from AiNET’s Beltsville, Maryland data center headquarters through downtown Washington, DC including Georgetown, Capitol Hill and Shaw before proceeding back along the Capital Beltway during rush hour to return to the Prince George’s County research facility. The 58,000 lb. vehicle successfully navigated the tight, crowded streets of downtown Washington, DC as well as the notoriously crowded Capital Beltway, reaching top speeds of 65 mph, the maximum legal speed limit on the Beltway.

Deepak Jain, founder and CEO of AiNET, as well as top company executives, watched the road test via live-stream video broadcast from the passenger seat of SRC 50. “It was really incredible to see the way people reacted to the vehicle,” said Jain. “People gave the thumbs up as it drove past. The looks on peoples’ faces as they realized there was no human driving such a massive vehicle were a bit shocking, but I am confident that as these autonomous vehicles proliferate and become common on the nation’s roadways, people will get used to it.”

SRC50 is powered by an 1,800 HP hybrid-turbo Detroit Diesel engine, and consumed just under 85 gallons of JP-8 jetfuel during the 50 mile road test. The vehicle stands 11 feet tall, with 50 inch all-terrain run-flat tires.

The tech that facilitated the successful road test was 23 years in development at AiNET. The array of 74 sensors, GPS-locators, motor controllers and actuators are all connected through a USB bus to a first generation Blackberry. As a failsafe mechanism the vehicle can be steered manually by the roller controller on the front face of the Blackberry.

Jain hints that the future looks promising for the future of AiNET’s autonomous vehicle product line. “Driverless fire trucks are just the beginning. Think about all of the exciting development in the field of UAVs and drones, and imagine the same but for lawnmowers, food trucks (with robotic chefs), baseball fields… the possibilities are endless.”

AiNET plans to release the blueprints and source code for these technologies for free to the public on GitHub in the future. Jain says “the internet was invented for the free exchange of information and technology. We believe that releasing our tech to the public will stimulate research and allow for more rapid development and acceptance of these autonomous vehicles on our nation’s roadways.”