New concept footage shows off DARPA's Halo-esque tank of the future

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Oct 8, 2014, 6:11 PM EDT

We’ve been waiting for a legit, videogame-esque heads-up display all our lives, and now military contractor DARPA is showing off some sweet new tech in the tank of the future.

With an eye toward the future of ground warfare, DARPA is eyeing “intelligent systems” that could help guide an agile future-tank to avoid threats and assist less-experienced drivers. Just don’t expect it to look like the big ol’ steel behemoths you’re used to seeing. The tank of the future can turn on a dime and handle all kinds of different terrain.

According to a concept video created by DARPA, the Ground X-Vehicle Technology (GXV-T) project aims to not just handle hits and repel bullets. Instead, the system is designed to largely avoid detection altogether — almost like a stealth tank.

Here are five bullet points DARPA is aiming to address with GXV-T:

  • A closed cockpit that would use visualization technologies to provide high-definition, wide-angle visibility of external conditions
  • Path planning that would display optimal routes
  • Sensors that would use a variety of technologies to visualize surroundings and identify and track allies and adversaries
  • Terrain classification that would evaluate surroundings for optimal travel surfaces
  • Autopilot capabilities that would automate routine driving tasks to enable drivers to focus on more strategic activities

The design is similar to the Mars rover in a lot of ways, with four wheels independently hosted that could allow it to go over boulders and different terrain. It’ll also feature some unmanned tech, meaning the tank itself could carry out basic maneuvers and assignments without a driver onboard. Yeah, that’s admittedly a little scary. But still cutting edge. It has also been compared to the future-war vehicles featured in Halo.

Check out the concept clip below, along with a piece of concept art, and let us know what you think:

(Via io9, BBC)