Ricardo Defense Systems and LIFT (Lightweight Innovations For Tomorrow) have launched a US$7.5 million joint project to address persistent rollover issues related to the High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV), better known as the Humvee. The goal of the initiative is to identify and deploy a new, robust, reliable alternative to the documented braking and stability problems in the current HMMWV configuration.
To this end, Ricardo has developed a modified commercial off the shelf system for the Humvee that iincludes ABS/ESC functionality and improved brake calipers, pads and rotors. The company believes that the system may reduce fatal rollovers by up to 74%.
LIFT will help support further development of the Ricardo system while also examining lightweighting system components with advanced casting techniques and metal matrix parts. Every pound saved equates to improved mobility performance, fuel economy and logistics trail.
The Ricardo system is currently being piloted in 10 vehicles with the Michigan National Guard. The project will expand the National Guard pilot program to include production-grade components and processes developed.
GKN is one of the technology partners on the project while Michigan Technological University and the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute are participating as research partners.
Going forward, training and additional workforce development will be conducted during integration of the brake kits onto Michigan National Guard HMMWVs. The project team is also working toward building additional test-dedicated HMMWVs to conduct shake, roll and abuse tests and road durability evaluation at the Chelsea Proving Grounds in Chelsea, Michigan and limited operational review at Camp Grayling, Michigan.