Michelin North America is equipping a robotic vehicle designed by Oshkosh Truck Corp and The Ohio State University to compete in the Defense Advanced Research Projects Association (DARPA) $1 million Grand Challenge event.
The completely autonomous vehicle, known as Terramax, must traverse a 250-mile Mojave Desert course between Barstow CA and Las Vegas NV without a driver or remote controls. Michelin is partnering with the team to supply the Michelin company's 16.00R20 XZL all-terrain non-directional military radial tire for use on the vehicle.
The XZL tire offers extra sidewall protection, optimized tread design, and superior traction and handling on terrains including snow, sand, mud, and highway. Using tubeless radial construction, the tires are used on the Heavy Expanded Mobility Tactical Truck (HEMTT), the Heavy Equipment Transport (HET), the Palletized Load System (PLS) for the United States Army, and the Medium Tactical Vehicle Replacement (MTVR) for the United States Marines.
Up to 20 teams have been selected to participate in the DARPA Grand Challenge. The purpose of the challenge is to leverage ingenuity to speed development of autonomous vehicle technologies for US military requirements.