18.1.17

DARPA Looks Toward Removal of Windows in Ground Vehicles

According the WIRED, the Defense Department’s research wing, DARPA, is seeking new technologies to improve the future of the U.S. military’s ground vehicles under a program called Ground X Vehicle Technologies. Raytheon, a private defense contractor, has proposed removing windows and replacing them with an internal digital window that can still give crew members the necessary levels of visual situational awareness, while lessening the need for increasing heavy armor. Outward-facing HD and 360- degree cameras will create a digital replica of the vehicles’ external surroundings, including detailed models of buildings, terrain, vehicles, and people. The development of the technology is still in the early phases.
The Cipher Take: Not only will the removal of glass windows in ground vehicles also remove the structural vulnerabilities they create—particularly to improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and visibility into vehicles—but it could also augment the visuals of crew members by removing blind spots and focusing their attention on specific areas based on advanced algorithms. The internal video feeds could also be accessed remotely to give commanders better real-time footage and enhance decision-making. However, this development faces the same problem as anything networked - could these cameras and internal monitors be hacked? If so, intruders could either alter the feed to manipulate the crew’s perceptions of their surroundings, or simply see what they see by exfiltrating a parallel stream of the video—as insurgents have done with Predator drones.

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