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Robot cars ride again

Robot cars ride again

Last year, we watched as 5 cars out of 20 completed a 132-mile desert course in the DARPA Grand Challenge. DARPA just announced the Third Grand Challenge, to be run on November 3, 2007, which will require making it through only a 60-mile course. The catch is that those 60 miles will be run through urban terrain, complete with traffic and busy intersections. The desert course was tough and required not only solid robotics but also a vehicle with real off-road chops. Last year's winning VW Touareg, Stanley from the Stanford team, might fare OK in this setting, but Team TerraMax's giant vehicle would probably run into problems--unless it can just drive over obstacles. I'll place my bets on the team that uses a Honda Fit.