Robotic Vehicles Complete Challenge, Stanford Wins $2M

Five robotic vehicles completed the DARPA Grand Challenge robotic race this weekend, with the Stanford team pocketing the $2M cash prize for completing a grueling desert course in less than 10 hours. Twenty three autonomous robotic vehicles started on the course. Stanford's "Stanley" robotic vehicle completed the 131.6 mile course in six hours, 53 minutes, and 58 seconds, becoming the first autonomous vehicle to complete the challenge and winner of the prize. Four other teams also completed the course, with Carnegie Mellon's Red Team "Sandstorm" completing the course in seven hours, 4 minutes and 50 seconds; Red Team Too with their "H1ghlander" completing the course in 7 hours and 14 minutes; Gray Team "KAT-5" in 7:30:16, and Oshkosh Truck's lumbering 16-ton Terramax also completing the course in over 10 hours. The successful completion of the course marks a significant advance over last year's miserable showing, where every team was disabled shortly beyond the starting line. Local Southern California teams did not fare as well, with Axion Racing going 66 miles; UCLA/Golem Group getting only 22 miles; SciAutonics 16 miles; and Team Caltech only 8 miles. DARPA's Grand Challenge was intended to advance the development of fully autonomous vehicles.