11 finalists to hit the streets in DARPA's $2M Urban Challenge
Field of self-driven vehicles narrowed down this week from 35 semifinalists
Computerworld - Out of 35 semifinalists, only 11 teams have qualified for DARPA's Urban Challenge, a 60-mile race between self-guided vehicles.
The race, slated to be held Saturday at the abandoned George Air Force Base in Victorville, Calif., pits the driverless cars against each other in a race that will challenge the vehicles and their self-guidance systems to find their way through 60 miles of urban streets, multiple lanes, traffic circles and four-way stops. The challenge calls on the teams of researchers -- academics from the likes of Stanford and Cornell universities, along with hobbyists and engineering professionals -- to match up their creativity and technical savvy.
The list of finalists, which was released Thursday afternoon, includes teams from Virginia Tech, Cornell, Carnegie Mellon University and Stanford.
"The teams that competed in the [National Qualification Event] were subjected to a series of rigorous tests to determine whether they were equipped to compete in the Urban Challenge final event," said DARPA Director Tony Tether in a written statement. "The NQE tested the vehicles capability to merge into traffic, navigate four-way intersections, respond to blocked roads, pass on-coming cars on narrow roads and keeping up with traffic on two- and four-lane roads. In fact, the only major difference between the NQE and the final event is that other robotic vehicles will be part of the traffic in the final event."
DARPA (The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) is sponsoring the race and offering a $2 million prize to the winner in an effort to get researchers developing technology for autonomous ground vehicles that could save lives on the battlefield, according to Jan Walker, a DARPA spokeswoman. She said that self-driven vehicles could be used for bomb-detonation tasks, in military convoys and for military reconnaissance missions.
The vehicles must accurately navigate a complicated course without human assistance. No one is in the car to turn the wheel, apply the brakes or figure out which way to go. The automobile must work its own way through the course, navigate around about 50 human-driven vehicles and do it within six hours.
Once each autonomous vehicles enters the course, it is solely under the control and guidance of its onboard mission computer.
"Vehicles competing in the Urban Challenge will have to think like human drivers and continually make split-second decisions to avoid moving vehicles, including robotic vehicles without drivers, and operate safely on the course," said Urban Challenge Program Manager Norman Whitaker, in a written statement. "The urban setting adds considerable complexity to the challenge faced by the robotic vehicles, and replicates the environments where many of today's military missions are conducted."
This state transportation department uses computer science students from a local university as programming interns, and everyone is happy with the arrangement -- until one intern learns how to bring down the mainframe.
- IT Certification Study Tips
- Register for this Computerworld Insider Study Tip guide and gain access to hundreds of premium content articles, cheat sheets, product reviews and more.
- Changing the Way Government Works: Four Technology Trends that Drive Down Costs and Increase Productivity
- This paper discusses four technology-based approaches to improving processes and increasing
productivity while driving down department and agency costs.
- Path Selection Infographic
- Path Selection Infographic
- Hyperconvergence Infographic
- A wide range of observers agree that data centers are now entering an era of "hyperconvergence" that will raise network traffic levels faster...
- Preparing Your Infrastructure for the Hyperconvergence Era
- From cloud computing and virtualization to mobility and unified communications, an array of innovative technologies is transforming today's data centers.
- How WAN Optimization Helps Enterprises Reduce Costs
- If you wanted to break down innovation into a tidy equation, it might go something like this: Technology + Connectivity = Productivity. Productivity... All Government IT White Papers
- Cloud Knowledge Vault Learn how your organization can benefit from the scalability, flexibility, and performance that the cloud offers through the short videos and other resources...
- LIVE EVENT: 5/7, The End of Data Protection As We Know It. Introducing a Next Generation Data Protection Architecture. Traditional backup is going away, but where does this leave end-users?
- On-demand webinar: "Mobility Mayhem: Balancing BYOD with Enterprise Security" Check out this on-demand webinar to hear Sophos senior security expert John Shier deep dive into how BYOD impacts your enterprise security strategy...
- Mobile Security: Containerizing Enterprise Data In this on-demand webinar, Fixmo's Lee Cocking, VP of corporate strategy, explains why Apple-ization trends like mobility and "bring-your-own-device" (BYOD) are driving the...
- Endpoint Data Management: Protecting the Perimeter of the Internet of Things Not surprisingly, "Internet of Things" (IoT) and Big Data present new challenges AND opportunities for enterprise IT. Teams need to harness, secure and...
- All Government IT Webcasts