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 ")

Sion Electric Car Covered With Solar Panels
'It drew its power from six square yards of sunpower screens on its low curved roof.' - Robert Heinlein, 1940.

PAL-V Liberty Flying Helicopter Car
'...lifted themselves to skimming flight upon whirling helicopters." - Jack Williamson, 1931.

Ancient Russian Walking Excavator Would Be Perfect RV
I don't need it to go fast, it just needs to amble along.

Quiet Electric Cars Law Finalized By US Transportation Department
'... a sound tape to supply the noise'- Robert Heinlein, 1985.

 

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

Sleeep PRO Earplug For Maximum Rest
'Merton... placed the electrodes of the sleep-inducer on his forehead.'

Inspired By Japan, Nap Pods For Hajj
It's always a good time for a nap.

Amphibio 3D Printed Gill Shirt
'... we can descend and live down there at one of those year-round aquatic resorts.'

How Do You Put An Asteroid Into Earth Orbit? Carefully!
'...she would have to be coaxed by another series of pats into a circular orbit.'

PD Aerospace Space Plane By 2023
'The sleek, tapered space shuttle lay immobile upon the private landing field...'

Foldimate Folds Your Clothes Perfectly
Look ma, my room is clean! I can hear you now.

Robots Help People Get Dressed, As Predicted In 1931
Yes, people of the future, robots will dress you.

International Space Station Leak Plugged - With Finger
'These tag-alongs search out stray leaks.'

Robot Snake Flies, Fights Fires
Just a prototype, but still amazing.

IPAL Chinese Robot Babysitter
'But Nanny is different...'

ZKZM-500 LASER Assault Rifle
'The Iranian reached back into the locker and got a pair of laserifles.'

LA Subway Scanner, As Seen In 'Total Recall'
'I'm afraid to tell you this Mr. Quaid, but you have suffered a schizoed embolism...'

Sion Electric Car Covered With Solar Panels
'It drew its power from six square yards of sunpower screens on its low curved roof.'

PAL-V Liberty Flying Helicopter Car
'...lifted themselves to skimming flight upon whirling helicopters."

Space Drones - UK's Effective Space To Launch Rocket Tugs
'Twenty rocket tugs towed it from its Earth hangar out into space.'

DIY Autonomous Robot Detects Trash
'The search-bug detached itself and rolled forward.'

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.