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 ")

Tesla Promises Fully Autonomous Cars By 2018
It's been a criminal offense for at least a hundred years to drive manually on a public highway.- Arthur C. Clarke, 1976.

Hackers Can Take Control Of Cars From Anywhere In The World
'The car faltered as the external command came to brake...' - Keith Laumer, 1965.

Would Robot Taxis Ease Carbon Emissions?
'He emerged and flagged down a robot taxi...'- Philip K. Dick, 1955,

Autonomous Cars: Who Is Responsible For Driving?
It's been a criminal offense for at least a hundred years to drive manually on a public highway.- Arthur C. Clarke, 1976.


  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

Harvard's Robobees Now 'Fly' Underwater
'...the Scarab buzzed into the great workroom as any intruding insect might, and sought the security of a shadowed corner.'

ADEPT Heat Shield Works For Mars
'...A synthetic which air-friction would erode away...'

Ultralight Origami Crane UAV Flexes Its Wings
'They began to flex their wings.'

UM Solar Car Now Also With IBM Research Power
'It drew its power from six square yards of sunpower screens on its low curved roof.'

Robot-Based Trash Collection
'Robots pick up the garbage and junk and load it in there...'

Warrior Web Exoskeleton For Soldiers Undergo Tests
'The real genius in the design is that you don't have to control the suit; you just wear it...'

Tesla Promises Fully Autonomous Cars By 2018
'It's been a criminal offense for at least a hundred years to drive manually on a public highway.'

Light Molecules (And Maybe Light Sabers, Someday)
'It will be matter, matter made of light...'

Telepresence In The Office
'That led to his development of robot probes; small devices with cameras and sound equipment which could move freely... under direct control.'

Piper, Google's 2 Billion Line Code Repository, Needs A Cool Display
'The student pointed a finger and as he did so, the line of equations marched down the wall...'

WEpod Driverless Vehicle On The Netherlands Roads
'The car moved smoothly away. Mirelly-Lyra half relaxed; she was not steering.'

Computer Predicts Psychosis Better Than Psychiatrists
'The mechanism which was the portable extension of Dr. Smile...'

Robot Evolution Needs Mass Extinction Events
'It was small, one of the baby ones.'

Lab-Grown Kidneys Implanted Successfully - In Animals
'For a while your colonists will have to come up to the Hospital to get treatment with the ramrobot symbiots...'

Korean Lab Ready To Clone Your Dog
Man's best friend, cloned.

DARPA NeuroTech Hand With Natural Sensation
'Take care, sir.'

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.