The DARPA Urban Challenge will take place on Saturday evening

Even though the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Urban Challenge event is still several days away, teams continue to drop like flies.  Just 21 out of the 35 original teams remain in the event, after the other teams were eliminated during qualifying trials underway in Victorville, Calif.

The following teams were most recently cut:  Axion Racing, Mojovaton, Team Caltech, Team Jefferson, Team Juggernaut, Gator Nation, Team Urbanator and Golem Group.  The other teams eliminated so far can be found here.

"Vehicles are being tested in three test areas to evaluate their ability to operate with live traffic, make safe left turns across moving traffic, and pull out at T-intersections with cars arriving from both directions," according to DARPA.  "Vehicles also have to follow narrow winding roads, avoiding parked cars and other obstructions, maneuver into a designated parking spot and negotiate 4-way intersections and road-blocks."

During qualifying, the Caltech Alice vehicle cut off a human driver in an official DARPA vehicle: the first strike against her.  The next lap, Alice drove over a curb but recovered badly before ending up in a lane with opposing traffic.

It is likely a couple more teams will be cut before the race, which starts at 7:00 a.m. PST.

Six teams have already been given a reprieve until Saturday night's main event – the following teams know they will be competing on Saturday:  Tartan Racing, Stanford Racing Team, Team Cornell, Ben Franklin Racing Team, Victor Tango and CarOLO.

DARPA will hand out prizes of $2 million, $1 million and $500,000 to the first three cars that are able to complete the course in less than six hours.

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