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Advanced, up-to-date information to reduce vehicle accidents and increase mobility

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Developed by the U.S. Army Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory’s (CRREL) mobility group under Dr. Sally Shoop along with University of Pretoria’s Vehicle Dynamics Group (VDG), Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS) will aid in decision making to augment mobility and to reduce vehicle accidents. ADAS seeks to develop a field-tested prototype digital camera system and digital correlation software to measure terrain roughness, rut depth, load-bearing capacity, and tire force-generating capability. This advanced, up-to-date information, communicated to the vehicle operator in real time, will help to reduce risk of vehicle accidents, immobilization of military vehicles during operations, and environmental damage.


Vehicle accidents can injure and claim more lives than combat in many military operations both at home and in theater. Off-road mobility can change rapidly due to changes in weather. Drivers of military vehicles often have low visibility and little information about the actual terrain ahead. Driver assessment of terrain trafficability is difficult when terrain is unpredictable (e.g., soft off-road terrain like sand, snow, and mud).


VDG has developed technology to measure vehicle–terrain related parameters by using images captured with digital cameras and by using digital image correlation. ADAS will use VDG’s stationary stereographic camera system to determine the 3D terrain profile under various weather and terrain conditions. These parameters will be compared to baseline methods that have been developed by CRREL over several decades. Current vehicle performance measurement technology is designed for the commercial sector and is not applicable to large, heavy military vehicles. ADAS aims to evaluate technology that is suitable to a wide range of vehicle types, including large military vehicles.

Technical services include

  • a field-tested prototype digital camera system using commercial off-the-shelf components,
  • digital image correlation software to measure required parameters under varied weather and terrain operational conditions, and
  • a test report with comparison to existing techniques.


  • From 1980 to 2005, three soldiers have died from motor vehicle crashes for every one lost in combat. At home and in theatre, vehicle accidents are a significant cost of lives. Many of these accidents are due to driver error and could be prevented. ADAS will supply continuous feedback about the terrain to the driver to enable safer decision making.
  • Mobility over unchartered terrain is of extreme importance to move soldiers and equipment during any mission, but mobility under off-road conditions can change quickly with changes in weather. Drivers of military vehicles often have little to no information about the terrain features in front of their vehicle tires. ADAS will provide real-time terrain data to the driver even in very rough terrain or low-visibility situations.


ADAS is an estimated one-year project, beginning in July 2015 and ending in June 2016, under the Foreign Technology (and Science) Assessment Support (FTAS) Program, Department of the Army.

VDG has developed a stationary stereographic camera system to determine rough 3-D terrain profiles and other vehicle–terrain parameters on hard terrain. This system will be mounted onto a vehicle and modified for soft off-road terrains like sand, mud, snow, and ice. This product is in very early prototype stages.

ERDC Points of Contact

Questions about ADAS?

Contact: Dr. Sally Shoop
Email: Sally.A.Shoop @usace.army.mil
Phone: 603-646-4321