DARPA Urban Challenge – Tartan Racing Wins 2007 Race

November 7, 2007


The DARPA Urban Challenge for 2007 is a 60-mile race for completely autonomous vehicles. The autonomous vehicle must prove basic navigation skills by driving on a prescribed course, and demonstrate traffic skills by negotiating a four-way intersection with two human-driven cars and another robotic vehicle. The prize money is a cool $2 million. From the 53 teams that entered the event, 11 were qualified to compete in the finals on Nov 3rd.

The event was won by the Tartan Racing Team this past weekend. Tartan Racing is a colloboration between Carnegie Mellon University and General Motors Corporation. The team used a Chevy Tahoe to build its vehicle, named BOSS. BOSS is equipped with more than a dozen cameras, lasers and radars. The complete results are available here. Some videos of the event are available at TG Daily.

In 2005, DARPA conducted Grand Challenge, which was a race for autonomous vehicles, but with other vehicles in the mix. This event was won very closely by the Stanford team running a VW Passat, the CMU team came in second, at 11 seconds after Stanley.

Having been part of the UC Robotics team and writing the code for avoiding simulated pot holes using CCD cameras as part of my thesis, I think these two events showcase some of the greatest achievements in the field of autonomous vehicle navigation.


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