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DARPA Urban Challenge 2007 is over, after Carnegie Mellon University's Tartan Racing took the $2 million prize

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Urban Challenge event hosted by DARPA ended over the weekend with the Carnegie Mellon University's Tartan Racing won the $2 million prize purse.  

Congratulations to all the teams that were able to finish in the event, but a special shout out goes to Stanford University, Carnegie Mellon and Virgina Tech, for taking the top three positions.

DailyTech published an article prior to the start of the festivities explaining how the event continues to go mainstream -- something I think it must do if more companies are going to take interest in the program.  Even though most of the major players in this year's event were universities, they likely couldn't have created such a sophisticated vehicle without some cheddar provided by the corporate world.  In fact, General Motors, Caterpillar and Continental helped CMU create "Boss.
"

What impact does this technology have on a regular consumer?  According to a GM research and development and strategic planning official, different forms of sensor and autonomy technologies will slowly creep into vehicles designed for everyday use.

The technology behind autonomous vehicles will hopefully make it possible to have unmanned vehicles help deliver supplies or collect intelligence on the battlefield.  This blog published on Scientific American helps paint a general picture of the recent history of autonomous vehicles and DARPA.

How long will it be before DARPA finds what it is looking for in autonomous vehicles?  Have they found it already?  I don't think so, but I hope it is pleased with the progress that teams continue to make in a very interesting field that will have an important use one day.


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how far we've come
By Moishe on 11/6/2007 9:53:47 AM , Rating: 2
It is fairly amazing how well these vehicles have come along. The equipment is there and can be miniaturized or built into vehicles... The software is the key to making it more accurate and safe. Imagine how well a car could drive if every road had RFID tags embedded every 3 meters...

They're already doing the stuff of science fiction.

For the military, they just need to have the ability for the car to go where it is told to go. It could bring wounded back to base without a driver, or even potentially conduct raids if it had a good weapon system.




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