November 5, 2007

GM and Carnegie Mellon take first prize in DARPA Urban Challenge

Boss, winner of the DARPA Urban Challenge
Boss, winner of the DARPA Urban Challenge. Click image to enlarge

Victorville, California – The Carnegie Mellon University Tartan Racing team took first place in the DARPA Urban Challenge in California, a competition between driverless vehicles operating in a mock urban environment. The team entered “Boss”, an autonomous Chevrolet Tahoe.

Six vehicles completed the course, including a Volkswagen Passat entered by Stanford University and partly sponsored by Volkswagen of America, and a Toyota Prius entered by the Ben Franklin Racing Team, which includes two Pennsylvania universities and Lockheed Martin.

The DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) requires driverless vehicles, operating without remote control, to negotiate urban hazards such as intersections and merging traffic. The Tartan Team is also supported by companies such as Caterpillar, Continental AG, Google, Mobileye, and Hewlett Packard.

“This competition has significantly advanced our understanding of what is needed to make driverless vehicles a reality,” said Larry Burns, GM vice president of R&D and Strategic Planning. “Imagine being virtually chauffeured safely in your car while doing your email, eating breakfast and watching the news. The technology in ‘Boss’ is a stepping stone toward delivering this type of convenience.”

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