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 -
Google Lobbies For Autonomous Motorcycles
'He had never ridden any motorized device that lacked onboard steering and balance systems.'- Bruce Sterling, 1988.
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.
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.
New Video Of Arducorder Mini Open Source Science Tricorder
Perfect for exploring our planet.
E-Delicious Machine A Food-Tasting Robot
'Why the nuisance of bringing food to the mouth to taste?'
Nexus 6 Phone Vs. Nexus-6 Android Comparison
It has 'ten million possible combinations of cerebral activity'. Now, that would be a smart phone.
Robot Handwriting Via App Better Than Yours
Don't get caught with fake handwriting.
MIT's Latest Biosuit For Fashionable Astronauts
'You'd need a space suit to make any kind of a successful trip outdoors.'
Diamond Nanothreads For Space Elevators?
'Continuous pseudo-one dimensional diamond crystal.'
3D Printing With Moon Regolith Simulant (Moon Dust)
Don't forget, it costs about 5k dollars to lift one pound up from Earth.
Liquid Metal Technology Now Exists
'A mimetic poly-alloy.'
Sense.ly Virtual Nurse Will See You Soon
The virtual nurse is IN.
China's Crab Walker Robot Tank In Firing Mode
'The mechanism was to consist of eighteen segments, each equiped with a pair of legs...'
'Hello, Computer!' Intel's Core M Catches Up To Scotty
'Well, isn't that quaint!'
Visual Speech Recognition - When Will HAL Read Lips For Real?
Automating lip reading.
MIT's Robotic Cheetah Runs Free - And Frolics In The Grass
'THEY sent A SLAMHOUND on Turner's trail...'
Flying Robot Has An Arm
Drones with arms.
Strati 3D Printed Car
'You rode in it - you know how good it is.'
Tracking Spinning Space Junk
'Loose nuts and bolts... had been accumulating in Earth orbit'
More SF in the News Stories
More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories