if you builld it, they may come — Stanford wins DARPA Urban Challenge again ?



Original: c/netnews.com Photo credit: c/netnews.com

3 Nov. 2007


Stanford, CMU robots cross the finish line




ORO GRANDE, CALIF.–Three robots finished the DARPA Urban Challenge within the allotted time Saturday, a new milestone in the development of self-driving vehicles.

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“In the running for the $2 million first prize and $1 million second prize are Stanford‘s robotic VW Passat, Virginia Tech‘s modified Ford Escape Hybrid, and Carnegie Mellon‘s autonomous Chevrolet Tahoe. These teams finished the urban challenge’s three missions within the allotted six hours and without significant problems.

* * *

“DARPA plans to name the winners Sunday after compiling and evaluating all of its data on the race vehicles, including data on their speed and compliance with basic traffic rules. DARPA officials had said that the fastest car wouldn’t necessarily win if it didn’t pass all of the driving rules.

“But DARPA Director Tony Tether said that he hadn’t seen anything egregious among the first three finalists.

“We have a winner,” Tether said in an interview with CNET News.com here at the former George Air Force Base.

“Stanford University’s robot car Junior [see YouTube video] crossed the finish line first, but it’s unclear whether it will take first prize like it did in the 2005 Grand Challenge, a 132-mile race across the Nevada desert.” … (full article)

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Newcomb’s commentary: “For once you have tasted flight you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards, for there you have been and there you will long to return.” Leonardo da Vinici



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