The requirements for a new armored car for the Italian Colonial Police and the Italian Cavalry were combined into one specification.
The four wheel steering did cause problems for the Autoblindas. There were two drivers in the crew as there were positions in the front and the rear that could drive the Autoblinda.
The Autoblindas could be outfitted with extra wide sand tires for used in North Africa.
There were also kits that could allow the Autoblindas to ride on railroad tracks. These could be changed in 30 minutes by the crew. These were primarily used in anti-partisan patrols in the Balkans.
The AB 40 used the chassis from the FIAT-SPA artillery tractor.
Based on the success of the British Long Range Desert Group (LRDG) the Italian Army wanted a similar vehicles for long range desert missions.
The driver sat in the central position and usually there were three additional crewmen. The main armament was mounted in the center and various other mounts around the outside for machine guns.
There were two racks on either side with room for 20 20-liter jerry cans and four on the front bumpers that could carrying gasoline or water.
The main armament could be a 20 mm antitank rifle or 20 mm anti-aircraft gun. Two gun mounts could also carry a machine gun.