July 13, 2006

Self-guided robotic Volkswagen Touareg on display in Smithsonian Museum

'Stanley,' the robotic Volkswagen Touareg
'Stanley,' the robotic Volkswagen Touareg
‘Stanley,’ the robotic Volkswagen Touareg. Click image to enlarge

Auburn Hills, Michigan – “Stanley”, the self-guided robotic Volkswagen Touareg that won top prize at the DARPA Grand Challenge last October, will be featured in the Robotics Collection of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C. throughout the summer. Stanley defeated 22 other unmanned vehicles in a 212 km desert race, using only onboard sensors and navigation equipment.

Nearly 200 vehicles from around the world initially entered the competition; a series of semifinal competitions narrowed the final field to 23 entrants. Stanley achieved victory after six hours and 54 minutes, taking the top US$2 million prize. In the previous year’s event, no vehicle completed the route, or lasted longer than 11 km.

Stanley was built by Stanford University, with technological support and innovations from the Volkswagen Electronics Research Laboratory (ERL). The team started with a stock, diesel-powered Touareg R5 modified with full-body skid plates and reinforced front bumper, and a drive-by-wire system developed by the ERL.

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