U.S. Army implements AI to predict vehicle maintenance

Posted on FEB 25, 2019

Military leaders apply advanced artificial intelligence to the military's operations amid criticism.

The U.S. Army turns to Chicago-based tech start-up Uptake Technologies to employ artificial intelligence involving flag failing vehicle parts before the occurrence of breakdown or mechanical failure in combat.

The company has finalized a $1 million contract agreement with the U.S. Army, under which the company's technology will be tested on a few dozen vehicles before scaling upwards for comprehensive control.
According to the Washington Post, Uptake's artificial intelligence will be applied to deployed Bradley M2A3 combat vehicles, an armored infantry transport vehicle manufactured by BAE Systems, a British defense contractor with a U.S. office in Arlington.

"We're looking to see if we can leverage some of Uptake's machine learning algorithms to spot equipment failures before they happen," said Lt. Col. Chris Conley, the Army product manager for the Bradley fleet. "If this pans out and can provide some real capability, the Army could look to expand this to the entire Bradley fleet as well as other combat vehicle fleets."

Uptake will apply AI to the "readiness" side of the equation. The services have come under criticism in recent years for spending profligately on expensive new hardware such as the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter while older, more practical vehicles fall into disrepair.

Uptake's test run was scheduled through a type of contract that agencies use to rapidly experiment with new technologies without following traditional procurement processes.

The contract was coordinated by the Defense Innovation Unit Experimental, created under the Obama administration to advance connections between tech companies and military agencies