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"And the stars are projectors, yeah, projecting our lives down to this planet Earth." - Modest Mouse


3.07.2004

Grand Challenge 

Here's the official site for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) robotic race, the Grand Challenge.
DARPA intends to conduct a challenge of autonomous ground vehicles between Los Angeles and Las Vegas in March of 2004. A cash award of $1 million will be granted to the team that fields the first vehicle to complete the designated route within a specified time limit. The purpose of the challenge is to leverage American ingenuity to accelerate the development of autonomous vehicle technologies that can be applied to military requirements.
From the Q&A section:
Challenge vehicles must autonomously traverse the challenge route without human interface or control of any kind. The vehicles must perform general route selection and navigation to follow the Challenge route. Vehicles must sense their environment to perceive terrain features, ground conditions, obstacles, and other Challenge vehicles. They must intelligently control their speed and direction so as to avoid or accommodate all of the above. And they must do these things quickly- overall speed will be the deciding factor and the time limit is designed to push vehicle speeds far beyond current technologies.
I'll tell you this much: I wouldn't want to be in Vegas when hundreds of autonomous military vehicles come charging in.

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