Print 14 comment(s) - last by Serlant.. on Nov 6 at 10:00 AM

All but 11 teams have been eliminated for the final DARPA Urban Challenge event

The field of cars wanting to compete in the final event of the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA) Urban Challenge has been narrowed from 35 teams to just 11 entrants on the eve of the challenge.

DARPA eliminated 24 teams who failed the preliminaries and/or were deemed unsafe to be on the road tomorrow.

"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 Dr. Tony Tether, DARPA director.  "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."

The following teams will battle starting at 8:00 a.m. PST tomorrow:  Team AnnieWay, CarOLO, Team Cornell, Honeywell/IVS Team, MIT, Team Oshkosh Truck, Stanford Racing Team, Tartan Racing, The Ben Franklin Racing Team, Team UCF, and VictorTango.

Stanford University, which won in 2005, is a race favorite with "Junior," a converted 2006 Volkswagen Passat vehicle - Stanford modified the brakes, steering and throttle - to ensure they can be controlled via computer.

The competitors left standing will have up to six hours to complete the 60-mile course, while completing a number of different complicated tasks.  The first place team will receive $2 million, second place team $1 million, and $500,000 for a third place finish in the event.

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RE: nice
By bldckstark on 11/3/2007 9:00:57 AM , Rating: 3
If all vehicles were autonomous, it would be (relatively) easy to create a car that drives itself. The problem is currently they have to share the road with human drivers, and they make too many mistakes.

Compare this to playing a PC game against AI, versus playing against humans online. The game gets 10 times harder online because of the human element.

RE: nice
By Alexstarfire on 11/3/2007 2:53:32 PM , Rating: 2
Lag doesn't help though. I still agree though. I can't say ALL humans are bad drivers, but yea. Humans as a whole make a lot of mistakes. But it's also one of those things where if we are all on automated cars that we'd expect the number of accidents to drop to near zero. I mean, the only reasons left for an accident to occur is if something in the car fails. Also, we wouldn't need car insurance anymore since our accident rate should be zero. We also wouldn't need nearly as many lawyers for traffic related accidents, because even someone did crash it'd be no ones fault. The computer is driving and the computer is perfect, therefore it would truly be an accident.

RE: nice
By omnicronx on 11/3/2007 4:27:57 PM , Rating: 2
You guys have obviously never seen Minority Report

"We can't expect users to use common sense. That would eliminate the need for all sorts of legislation, committees, oversight and lawyers." -- Christopher Jennings

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