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 -
Cattle Avoidance Feature In Indian Autonomous Cars
'The driver went about the business of gently slipping the teflon-coated metal scoop beneath the first animal...' - Allan Dean Foster, 2006.
Tesla Autopilot's 40 Percent Crash Reduction
''I hope all those other cars are on automatic,' he said anxiously.' - Arthur C. Clarke, 1976
Cormorant Flying Car
'The cab came floating down out of the sky...' - James Blish, 1957.
Star Wars Speeder Bikes! On Water, By Jetovator
'Hey, wait!' Now, you don't need to say that.
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.
Bat Bot Robotic Flapping-Wing Drone
'The dark birdforms dotted the mountaintops like statues of prehistoric beasts, wings outspread...'
NASA's Astronaut Rescue Ball
'Ball and closely-prisoned man plummeted downward..'
ARM Wants To Build Brain Chips
'Slivers of microsoft, angular fragments of colored silicon...'
Sky Fence - A Drone-Proof Shield Created Over Prison
'There’s still a protective field over the whole thing. It volatilizes anything that tries to get through.'
Geoengineering The Atmosphere For Climate Change
'...a uniform temperature for each degree of latitude the year round.'
Archinaut Orbiting Robotic Factory
'mass-produced only in the orbiting factories...'
Cryonic Preservation - The Last Perk You'll Ever Need
'Is there not also a law providing for voluntary suspension of animation?'
Computers Understand Humans By Watching And Modeling Them
Soon, your computer will be watching you... and judging you.
NASA Asks For Moon To Earth Delivery Ideas
'Authority's 3-g catapult was almost one hundred kilometers long...'
Musk Tunnels Wisely Restrict Drivers
Too many robots.
Robot Swarms Controlled With Augmented Reality
'You're not thinking in enough dimensions...'
MIT's C-LEARN Helps Robots Transfer Learning To Other Robots
'Talk Between Robots radio...'
Mini-Brains In A Dish
'Cultured brains on a slab.'
Rapid Automated Search For Habitable Planets Needed
'I was near enough it now to set my automatic astronomical instruments to searching it for a habitable planet.'
WatchSense Perfect For Fat-Fingered Smartwatch Owners
'Now all you had to do was wave your hand in the general direction of the components...'
Digital Construction Platform Robot 3D Prints A Building
'It extrudes material like a spider.'
More SF in the News Stories
More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories