DARPA Grand Challenge Takes On Urban Streets

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has announced that the agency is taking its much heralded Grand Challenge competition to the urban landscape. The DARPA Grand Challenge, which challenged teams to develop fully autonomous vehicles that could navigate a 132-mile, desert route, awarded $2M to Stanford University and their "Stanley" autonomous vehicle last year. The agency said that the next Grand Challenge will be held in November of 2007, and will require vehicles to execute a simulated military supply mission in a mock urban area. The top award prize is $2M, with the second place finisher receiving $500K, and the third place finisher getting $250K. This year, DARPA also invited participants to submit a detailed proposal to receive funding of up to $1M in technology development funds through DARPA.