DARPA Urban Challenge For Autonomous Vehicles
DARPA has announced the first set of teams participating in the Urban Challenge of 2007. This will be the third DARPA Grand Challenge for autonomous vehicles.
In the 2005 Grand Challenge, "Stanley" the robotic Volkswagen Touareg of the Stanford University racing team completed the 132 mile race with a winning time of just 6 hours and fifty-four minutes. Four other vehicles succeeded in finishing as well.
(Stanley autonomous vehicle)
Heartened by these results, DARPA issued an even more difficult test of autonomous vehicle excellence - the Urban Challenge consisting four sets of vehicle behavior requirements.
First, the vehicle must be in autonomous mode and ready to begin its run less than 5 minutes after receipt of
the Mission Data File (MDF) from DARPA. This insures that there is no human inspection of the data.
Second, the vehicle must follow MDF checkpoints, but may start at any point in the route network. Each start chute will be a road segment in the test.
Third, the vehicle front bumper must pass over each checkpoint in the MDF in the correct lane or spot
and in the correct sequence.
Finally, the vehicle must remain entirely in the travel lane at all times except when performing a legal traffic
maneuver such as a left turn or maneuvering to avoid an obstacle. Vehicles may leave the travel lane under certain circumstances; for example, the vehicle may pass a stopped vehicle.
Also, DARPA will enforce a minimum speed limit to ensure good traffic flow. A maximum speed limit must also be observed. Vehicles are prohibited from lengthy "stop and stare" delays of more than ten seconds. However, the vehicles must act to avoid collisions and near-collisions at all times.
If you think that DARPA has been listening to your old driver's ed instructor, you're right. Vehicles must also maintain a minimum forward vehicle separation of one vehicle length for each ten miles/hour of speed.
(Road block and dynamic re-planning)
The full requirements for advanced navigation and traffic awareness are rigorous; vehicles must even be capable of executing U-turns when faced with roadblocks.
We're getting very close to passenger cars that are able to truly drive themselves. Robert Heinlein wrote about this one in 1941:
The car waited for a break in the traffic, then dived into the high-speed stream and hurried north. Mary settled back for a nap.
(Read more about Heinlein's Camden Speedster)
Read more about the rules for the DARPA Urban Challenge; you can get started with the DARPA Urban Challenge Technical Evaluation Criteria (pdf).
Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 10/4/2006)
Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.
| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |
you like to contribute a story tip?
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add
Comment/Join discussion ( 0 )
Related News Stories -
Lit Motors Self-Balancing Motorcycle
'He had never ridden any motorized device that lacked onboard steering and balance systems...'- Bruce Sterling, 1998.
Robert Heinlein, Your Self-Driving Car Is Almost Ready!
'Mary Risling settled back for a little nap...'-= Robert Heinlein, 1941.
Tesla 90 Percent Autonomous Car By 2015 - Elon Musk
'It cut her out of the stream of vehicles and reduced the speed of her car...'- Robert Heinlein, 1941
Google Lobbies For Autonomous Motorcycles
'He had never ridden any motorized device that lacked onboard steering and balance systems.'- Bruce Sterling, 1988.
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.
Oak Ridge To Pay For The (Giant, Superfast 3D) Printer
'Can your Biltong print for more than a hundred people?'
Race Into The Future With Bionic Boots
'The tremendous loping strides afforded by such devices... '
Linux Robot Masters Automatic Charging
'Then it appeared to make up its mind, and trundled over to a wall socket...'
PR2 Robot Dominates In Laundry Room
Where are the robots who will pick up discarded clothes?
Do You Want A Tablet Computer? Or, Fad Over?
'He would plug his foolscap-sized Newspad into the ship's information circuit'
First Person Video Flying Parrot Bebop Drone Video
'Over a radius of several miles Sonya's raytron apparatus could direct its flight...'
XPrize's Diamandis Implants RFID Tag In Hand
'People in Manhattan have replaced their Freedom Card with a radio-frequency chip about the size of a vitamin pill.'
Lightpaper Way Thinner Than OLED
'You have this on Siwenna?'
Foodini 3D Printer
''...Food slot gave him flat reddish-brown bricks.'
Parrot Bebop Drone Pairs With Your Smartphone
'Over a radius of several miles Sonya's raytron apparatus could direct its flight [using] an image of all that the lens eye saw.'
SCRIBE Enables Distributed Genomically Encoded Memory
Genomic DNA for analog, rewritable, and flexible memory.
Artisanal 3D Printing By Martha Stewart
'Nanofax AG offers a technology that digitally reproduces objects, physically, at a distance.'
Knightscope Robot Security Guards Ready
'A robot guard appeared, streaking toward them across the field.'
Bullet-Proof Kevlar Woven Electronics
'Check the watch imprinted on his sleeve...'
USAF 'BATMAN' Wrist Display
'The tiny screen in the bracelet's center...'
CoBots - Collaborative Robots Ask Humans For Help
'Whenever a robot finds something it can't identify... You give it a good look.'
More SF in the News Stories
More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories