Print 17 comment(s) - last by Misty Dingos.. on Nov 6 at 2:54 PM

The winning vehicle  (Source: Tartan Racing)
Carnegie Mellon University won the DARPA Urban Challenge event hosted by DARPA

Carnegie Mellon's Tartan Racing Team was today announced as the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Urban Challenge 60-mile event in Victorville, Calif. 

Each of the 11 unmanned vehicles left a designated starting shoot one-by-one at 8:00 a.m. PST yesterday morning.  The Stanford University "Junior" vehicle finished in second to earn $1 million, and Virginia Tech came in third to win $500,000.  MIT's vehicle finished in fourth place.

None of the winning teams committed any major infractions, allowing DARPA to select the winner based on total time on course.  Carnegie Mellon finished 20 minutes ahead of Stanford and around 40 minutes ahead of Virginia Tech.

An hour into the event all 11 vehicles were safely on course attempting to complete all the objectives DARPA placed on the course.   

The following teams did not complete the challenges and were eliminated: Team UCF, Honeywell/IVS Team, Team Oshkosh Truck, Team Annieway, and CarOLO.  Team CarOLO was given a reprieve after a near accident, but was eliminated after the team's Volkswagen Passat almost rean head-on with another team's vehicle as it went around a traffic circle.

The MIT robot entry, Talos, and Skynet, commanded by Cornell University, were involved in a minor fender bender during the race, but DARPA allowed both cars to continue the challenge.

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By MangoSRT8 on 11/5/07, Rating: 0
RE: hmm
By sieistganzfett on 11/5/2007 7:13:25 AM , Rating: 4
the research will all turn up on the battle fields first, and in the supply chains to support them. it means that people don't need to drive the trucks that get the supplies to the troops at the front, this means less people are needed there, next step would probably be tanks, etc. to be using this, then eventually before you know it, no human is needed in a fire fight, since they are all watching computer monitors, able to do everything remotely. end result is war with iran, who would have people fight the robot army and take heavy losses. :p

RE: hmm
By LogicallyGenius on 11/6/07, Rating: 0
RE: hmm
By Misty Dingos on 11/6/2007 2:54:05 PM , Rating: 2
Well for one thing these don't sit around under ground and wait for something or anything to trigger them to explode. They are not "an area denial weapon". They are simply transport. Just to remind you land mines are explosive devices. And when used indiscriminately are often more of a hazard to the local populace than they are to your opponent in a conflict.

If you choose to weaponize an automated vehicle you just have made one really efficient sentry.

Oh I see where you are going. This is just one more way for man to kill man? So your objection is logicaly in one of two areas then.

Area 1. That this is just wrong. Men should be men and stand toe to toe and kill each other. Or blood lust isn’t wrong it just needs to be more personal because it isn’t fair to everyone else. It is, after all, it is called war fare . The problem with this approach is that I want to win. I want to be the one going back to the land of pizza and beer. So if I can find a way to kill my opponent while sipping a beer in Florida then that is just great news! In war winning is really all that counts.

Area 2. War is wrong and we should not kill our fellow man. Peace is the only way and all the weapons of war should be destroyed so that man can live in peace. Well the problem with this is that if your opponent doesn’t care if you live or dies or actually prefers you dead then all you accomplish is your death and their victory. Pacifism only works if the other side cares that you live. We have seen several examples in the last century that proves this point.

Given that I have answered your original question I think it is best now that you retire for the time being. Giving thought to a more nuanced view point on this technology.

RE: hmm
By Lonyo on 11/5/2007 7:53:54 AM , Rating: 2
Well on Top Gear they recently had a segment about a Lexus which could try and park itself. That's one actual use of similar technology.

RE: hmm
By Samus on 11/5/2007 11:59:37 AM , Rating: 3
The Lexus didn't do a very good job, although Richard Hammond did have the parking box in the fence.

It's like any technology; as it get's better, people get dumber. Car's that drives themselves will just make people worse drivers. It's a skill everyone should have, much like fast food has hurt home cooking. Does anyone even know how to cook something more complicated than Mac n' Cheese anymore?

RE: hmm
By murphyslabrat on 11/5/2007 1:14:04 PM , Rating: 2
I regularly make stir-fries, and I am working my way through college (on the back of financial-aid, but I still need to pay for rent and food). So, while it takes extra time, it is worlds above fast-food, and competes with and/or is cheaper than alternatives.

BTW, I make it all from scratch (or as much as using supermarket vegetables and meat is from scratch, as I did not plant or slaughter anything ^^j).

RE: hmm
By KristopherKubicki on 11/5/2007 1:17:20 PM , Rating: 2
Ever seen Idiocracy?

RE: hmm
By Guigsy on 11/5/2007 7:57:31 AM , Rating: 2
Some of this technology is starting to appear in everyday cars now. For the next decade or so, I expect 'driver assistance' type features to get more and more advanced. However, I can't see a time when they'll actually take over from the driver in the same way these vehicles do. If your car crashed because the robot was driving, you'd sue the manufacturer. Anyone that implements this would go bust before you can say 'lawsuit'. If it's just 'assistance', it's still your problem.

Humans will be in charge behind the wheel for a while yet.

RE: hmm
By MangoSRT8 on 11/5/2007 8:51:09 AM , Rating: 2
Ahhh I see, it's fantastic stuff though. I wonder how far we'll let the vehicles control themselves. You know how we have HOV lanes now in America, it'd be great to have a "CAL" lane = "computer assisted lane" haha, where the cars use radar technology to drive themselves.

Just cool
By darkpaw on 11/4/2007 11:00:17 PM , Rating: 2
It's pretty neat that so many finished. A few years ago no one even came close to finishing the desert competition and this year several teams finished an urban one. The tech involved in these challenges is really interesting.

Using events like this to develop tech that has real world uses is a great use of resources. Paying the regular gov't contractors to develop this stuff would cost 100's of times what is given out in the challenges. I hope to see more interesting DARPA events in the future.

RE: Just cool
By KristopherKubicki on 11/4/2007 11:16:53 PM , Rating: 2
Also incredible that MIT's technology that became the darling of the last grand challenge only put up a mediocre 4th place. This stuff is going to be here sooner than you might think!

RE: Just cool
By ultimaone on 11/5/2007 9:43:42 AM , Rating: 2

MIT didn't win last year either, it was Stanford
which came in second place this year

RE: Just cool
By KristopherKubicki on 11/5/2007 12:52:36 PM , Rating: 2
Oops you're right! Redbull... I need you.

RE: Just cool
By McTwist on 11/5/2007 12:23:03 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, this was the first Grand Challenge that MIT competed in. So considering that, I think they did pretty well.

By zaki on 11/4/2007 11:39:51 PM , Rating: 3
yeah! go hokies!

Im at vtech right now and hoping to get in this program hopefully in the next couple of years, its so awesome.

this is a very good format to promote progress, and find new technologies.

Nit Pick
By Spacecomber on 11/5/2007 8:51:57 AM , Rating: 3
"Starting shoot" should be "starting chute".

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