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 -
NVIDIA's DAVE2 Autonomous Car Learns From Drivers
'So we took pictures of Guzub making a Three Planets...' - Anthony Boucher, 1943.
Superior Morals For Autonomous Cars
Exemplars of military and civic virtue.
Tesla's To Eye Future With New Sensors?
'I want to show you something new in the way of an automobile.' - David H. Keller, 1935.
Mobility Scooters Go Offroad
'Noiselessly, on rubber-tired wheels, they journeyed down the long aisles...' - David H. Keller, 1928.
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.
iPal Nanny Robot Will Raise Your Kids
'Playfully, Nanny caught Bobby's arm with her grapple and drew him to her.'
NVIDIA's DAVE2 Autonomous Car Learns From Drivers
'So we took pictures of Guzub making a Three Planets...'
Robots Don't Need To Be Humanoid
'People are used to android robots... They'll be scared of your unhuman-looking contraptions...'
Tractor Beams? They're Working On It
'Brandon swung mighty tractor beams...'
Hi-Yo Modobag! Away!
'A tumblebug does not give a man dignity...'
Snap Specs - Snapchat Spectacles - Are Video Glasses
'The old woman laid her wire-knitting aside and fixed them with the bug-eyed, opaque gape...'
Reading A Scroll Burned To Charcoal
'The scope was adjusted to generate... an image of the lower section of the book.'
Robot Arrested In Moscow
They should have thrown a net over him.
Oh Great, Fence-Climbing Robots
How long till they add the acid-tipped stingers?
Software Agents Fight Unseen On The Web
'...Worms and counter-worms loose on the data-net.'
Sandisk 1 Terabyte SD Memory Card Surfaces
'They should be Welton Fine-Grains, or they would be too bulky to ship...'
Carbyne, The Ultimate Form Of Carbon
'A continuous pseudo-one dimensional diamond crystal...'
Bradbury's Method Used In Search For Bombing Suspect
'He imagined thousands on thousands of faces peering into yards, into alleys...'
New Laser Space Debris Clearing More Subtle Than Clarke's
Rather than nudge them up, nudge them down.
Robots Learn To Swarm Safely
'They were bronzy gleams of smooth motion...'
Samsung's Smart Ring
'Crayn glanced at his finger watch...'
More SF in the News Stories
More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories