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 -
Auto Emotion Detector Lets Your Car Know Your Mood
'Why don't you take a stress pill and get some rest?'- Arthur C. Clarke, 1968.
RYNO To Heinlein - Your Tumblebug Is Ready!
'It is about the size and shape of a kitchen stool, gyro-stabilized on a single wheel...'- Robert Heinlein, 1940.
RF Safe-Stop Shuts Cars Off
'...a police control-override.'- Keith Laumer, 1965.
Honda's Tumblebug - The UNI-CUB beta
'A tumblebug does not give a man dignity…'- Robert Heinlein, 1940.
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.
Augmented Reality Ship's Bridge From Rolls Royce
'... the immense, three-dimensional, minutely cubed model...'
Artificial Blood From Factories
This blood's for you.
Wrigley's Anti-Impotence Chewing Gum
'Chew one of these, Mr. Chip.'
Arcology Now Universal Constructor
'... the hotel direly wanted to exist.'
MisTable Fog Display Like SeaQuest DSV
Captain Bridger, a message is coming in.
Full-Size Invisibility Cloak Now Possible
'I donned it and drew its hood, and threw on its current.'
Bioengineered Muscle Grows In Mice
'Joeboys... shoulders bulging with grafted muscle.'
Self-Assembling Nanoparticles Move Like Tiny Gears
'Microscopic machinery, smaller than ants, smaller than pins, working energetically...'
PredPol Predicting Crime As It Happens
'All day long the idiots babbled...'
UK Internet Filters Default To 'Family-Friendly'
'People bought personalized filter programs...'
NASA Gives Away Rocket Code - For Dads
'The rocket thundered and leaped. The children danced in their hammocks, screaming.'
Automated Planet Finder Telescope Starts The Hunt
'I was near enough it now to set my automatic astronomical instruments to searching it for a habitable planet.'
Crabster CR200 Robot Prowls The Deep
'The handling-machine did not impress me as a machine, but as a crablike creature...'
Neither Dead Nor Alive - But Not In Suspended Animation
'...Can he be brought out of the cold-pack?'
Dolphin Whistle Translator
'Louis could hear the other translator discs whistling softly in Puppeteer, snarling quietly in the Hero's Tongue.'
Military Tech Inside Your Roomba?
What else can Roomba do?
More SF in the News Stories
More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories