The Future: Researchers Demonstrate Next-Generation Route Planner that Learns from Experience

The Future: Researchers Demonstrate Next-Generation Route Planner that Learns from Experience

Adventium Labs and Primordial today announced that they have reached a milestone in their ongoing two-year DARPA-funded research effort to develop the next generation of route planning technology. Led by Adventium, the team met their Year 1 milestone to demonstrate a prototype system that uses the experience gathered from routes that people actually follow (as opposed to the routes generated by the computer) to automatically improve the quality of route plans provided.

"A key issue in automated route planning is that the data used in planning those routes may be inconsistent with the conditions on the ground. This will result in a route being impractical when a user attempts to follow it. For example, a bridge may be out, an area may be seasonally flooded, or there may be an existing path through otherwise difficult terrain that does not appear in the data," said Dr. Mark Boddy, the project's principal investigator.

The maps used for route planning, especially for off-road route planning, always have errors in them. These errors can result in such problems as routes crossing areas that are in reality impassable or excessively hazardous, or routes that are much more costly in terms of time, fuel, or human effort than they need to be. Adventium's G2I2 uses comparisons between routes as planned and routes as they are actually traversed to gradually improve map accuracy, resulting in better routes provided to the user.

The route planner at the heart of G2I2 is Primordial's patented Ground Guidance path planning system, an industry-leading automated route planner capable of planning fast and concealed routes for mounted and dismounted soldiers through on- and off-road terrain. The improved map information provided by G2I2 enables Ground Guidance to generate even better routes.

"Our partnership with Adventium has enabled us to further evolve our Ground Guidance off-road route planning software and broaden its applicability to mission planning and execution," said Randy Milbert, president of Primordial. "Our goal is to constantly improve our route planning software to make soldiers safer and more effective in the field"