DARPA Urban Challenge - KITT, Put Up Or Shut Up

DARPA has announced that its third Grand Challenge Competition will take place this fall. On November 3rd, autonomous ground vehicles will take to a mocked-up urban area to negotiate a 60-mile course.

Vehicles must complete the course in fewer than six hours. There is real money on the line: first prize is $2,000,000.

This is no ramble through the lonesome desert, either. Vehicles must autonomously obey traffic laws, they must be able to merge into moving traffic, make it through intersections and (obviously) avoid killing anyone.

Science fiction fans (as well as car buffs) will of course remember KITT, the smart and somewhat finicky black Pontiac Trans Am from the television series Knight Rider. KITT is shown below with durable star David Hasselhoff (as Michael Knight), who is better known to younger readers for his cameo on the Spongebob Squarepants movie. KITT stands for Knight Industries Two Thousand.


(KITT and his friend Michael)

In the series, KITT is able to drive in a completely autonomous mode regardless of setting, urban or country. KITT's driving was excellent; KITT sometimes chafed at Michaels inexpert and frankly dangerous driving style. His front-mounted scan bar (which made a really cool "whooshing" sound as the lights went back and forth) enabled KITT to see what was in front of the car.

If any of the DARPA organizers are Knight Rider fans, the next thing they will ask for is the special molecular bonded shell coating, which effectively rendered KITT invulnerable to bullets and most explosions.

KITT fans might want to see how they could pimp their own ride using a mac mini to provide voice control and other features. Sadly, by the time molecular bonded coatings come out, the phrase "pimp" your ride will not only be even older than it is now, but unrecognizable.

Read more at the DARPA Third Grand Challenge announcement

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 5/2/2006)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 3 )

Related News Stories - (" Vehicle ")

Cruise Automation's 'Highway Autopilot' For $10K
'It cut her out of the stream of vehicles and reduced the speed of her car...'- Robert Heinlein, 1941

myCopter Personal Aerial Vehicle (PAV)
Not quite as freewheeling as the sfnal version, but it might work.

Spam Autonomous Cars And Philip K. Dick
'The news vending machine, being homotropic, headed toward them...'- Philip K. Dick, 1963.

Toyota's Camatte Has William Gibson's Digital Hood
'That's a nice car out there," Rydell said...'- William Gibson, 1993.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

Monsieur Bartending Robot
'He poured the liquids into his maw...'

Cities Detect Gunfire Acoustics With ShotSpotter
'Sound trackers on the roof...'

Cruise Automation's 'Highway Autopilot' For $10K
'It cut her out of the stream of vehicles and reduced the speed of her car...'

Pengheng Space Capsule Hotel Staffed Entirely By Robots
'A planet-wide chain of hotels that specialized in non-human service.'

Electric Bacteria That Live On Pure Energy
'April 5, 1977; that was the night the waveries came.'

EXACTO Smart Bullet From DARPA
Nicely visualized in what 1984 movie?

Neural Implant To Treat Memory Loss
'You've got remote storage. How regular is the update?'

MIT's Shape-Shifting Robot Materials
The T-100, an advanced prototype, is made of liquid metal. Not quite ready.

LS3 AlphaDog Robot Marine Corps Video
'He admired the fast-plodding, articulated legs, so necessary since roads had degenerated...'

Vantablack Is Blacker Than Your Black
'Well, we have a black coating now thatís ninety-nine percent absorptive...'

Remotely Operated Gardening Rover - Student's Space Agricultural Robot
'There were things growing all over the place, not just in some domed enclosures blasted some millions of miles out in to space.'

Revisiting A Cloud City On Venus
Lando Calrissian, are you still available?

'Windowless Cockpit' Like Star Trek's Patent Applied For
Mr. Sulu, take us out.

'No Man's Sky' - The Matrix Is Almost Ready
Ready for an adventure, Neo?

The Claustrum - The Brain's On Off Switch?
'All I have to do is move this switch and he'll recover consciousness...'

Haptic Gloves Teach Braille Without Effort
'Jenkins bit his lip... [at] the sensation of having his fingers manipulated by the gauntlets he wore.'

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.