Israel is set to use fully autonomous unmanned vehicles along the border of the Gaza Strip, according to a report published by FoxNews.com.
While currently unarmed, the Israeli military plans to add machine guns to the so-called Border Protector Unmanned Ground Vehicles (UGVs) by “the beginning of next year”.
An unnamed Israeli military official told the website: “This is the future – the border is a very dangerous place… Sending unmanned vehicles to do these patrols means that troops’ lives are not at risk.”
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According to the report, the Israeli army has worked with defence giant, Elbit Systems, to convert Ford pick-up trucks into UGVs by adding “specialised remote driving technology”, along with “four driving cameras and a 360-degree observation camera.”
UGV testing reportedly began in July 2015 and the trucks “became operational in February (2016).”
While each vehicle is currently “driven by an operator in a remote controlled room using a steering wheel, joystick and pedals”, an army official told FoxNews.com that “in the future, we will have the capability of fully autonomous driving.”