X

Teams tune up for DARPA Urban Challenge

Fifty-three teams prepare for Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency's $2 million military-sponsored race.

CNET Reviews staff
urbandarpa1_mot_440x330.jpg
1 of 3 A Bunch of Dropouts

Fifty-three teams are preparing for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency's Urban Challenge, a $2 million military-sponsored race of autonomous vehicles on city roads that's set for November 3.

The month of June is crucial for contestants because DARPA is making the rounds for so-called site visits, prequalification meetings in which the military's research and development arm plans to evaluate each team's viability to compete.

New to the DARPA Challenge this year, the Arizona team "A Bunch of Dropouts," (pictured here) is likely the only outfit running out of a remote 75-acre workshop powered by solar panels. It's also an easy bet that the Dropouts--named because they're led by now-grown high-school dropouts--will have the one and only race contender that's a 1941 Dodge Power Wagon painted like the American flag.

urbandarpa2_mot_440x330.jpg
2 of 3 Cornell University
A picture inside Cornell University's Chevy Tahoe robot. The team's bias, or where it's overcompensating, is in the probability algorithms surrounding its Global Positioning System, thanks to a GPS failure that caused the team to run into a bridge in the 2005 DARPA Grand Challenge.
urbandarpa3_mot_440x330.jpg
3 of 3 MIT

After passing over the two previous DARPA competitions, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, an academic stalwart in computer science and robotics, will try to play catch-up to race veterans like Stanford University this year, according to John Leonard, one of the team's leaders.

MIT joins the challenge with support from the university, Quanta Computer, Draper Laboratory and Ford Motor, which donated a Land Rover LR3 to the cause.

More Galleries

2023's Best TV and Streaming Shows You Can't Miss on Netflix, HBO, Disney Plus and More
mandalorian-3-social.png

2023's Best TV and Streaming Shows You Can't Miss on Netflix, HBO, Disney Plus and More

62 Photos
Audi Activesphere Is a Transforming All-Terrain EV
Audi Activesphere concept

Audi Activesphere Is a Transforming All-Terrain EV

51 Photos
Hubble and James Webb Space Telescope Images Compared: See the Difference
james-webb-seq-00-14-05-10-still002

Hubble and James Webb Space Telescope Images Compared: See the Difference

12 Photos
Yamaha motorcycle and instrument designers trade jobs (pictures)
yamaha01.jpg

Yamaha motorcycle and instrument designers trade jobs (pictures)

16 Photos
CNET's 'Day of the Dead Devices' altar (pictures)
dia-de-los-muertos-3318-001.jpg

CNET's 'Day of the Dead Devices' altar (pictures)

9 Photos
2007 Los Angeles Auto Show: concept cars
conceptss01_440.jpg

2007 Los Angeles Auto Show: concept cars

14 Photos
Best sound bars under $300
polk-magnifi-mini-15.jpg

Best sound bars under $300

18 Photos