DARPA Urban Challenge Down to 11 Teams
November 2, 2007 11:59 PM
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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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11/4/2007 4:21:58 PM
The thing to remember with this sort of thing is that you first off are not using a standard piece of software, like Windows.
You're using proprietary things. And if done right you have pairs of everything, running separately from one another. In other words, if your GUI intended for you to interact with does for some reason mess up, or glitch, your backup version is still running, while the other reboots and gets itself back on track. Meanwhile, the car continues operating as expected unaffected by this glitch.
Also, IMO, for any tech like this to be done properly you need to make software that is not capable of encountering a glitch like that.
This is also the purpose for rigorous testing. You hit every possible error that can encounter and produce measures that compensate for the potential glitches, if any. Besides, worst case scenario the thing can be designed to pull over.
Automated vehicles are inevitable. And if we had a more progressive government in this country (U.S.) then such a thing would be implemented quickly, once it's to a viable point.
11/4/2007 11:33:05 PM
I'll take a car running Windows over one running Linux (have to recompile every time you fill up the tank at a new gas station) or MacOS (turn on your blinkers and the car starts bouncing to notify you that the blinker's on)
All joking aside, a true commercial product would run on a real-time OS, which none of the "commercial" OSes are, though real-time variants do exist for both Windows and Unixes. It's an entirely different game, and comparisons to desktop OSes is pointless.
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