America News: Tyco sponsors two autonomous driving vehicles in DARPA’s 2007 Urban Challenge

America News:  Tyco sponsors two autonomous driving vehicles in DARPA’s 2007 Urban Challenge

Tyco Electronics has announced its sponsorship of Carnegie Mellon University’s Tartan Racing Team with M/A-COM radar sensors.

The M/A-COM ultra-wideband radar sensors will be donated for use in the team’s “Boss” vehicles, two 2007 Chevy Tahoes that will be mechanically and electronically modified for autonomous urban driving.

One of the two “Boss” vehicles will be entered in the Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency’s (DARPA) Urban Challenge event, which will be held in the western US on November 3, 2007.

The competition will require unmanned vehicles to drive through a sixty mile urban course while obeying traffic laws, merging into moving traffic, navigating traffic circles, stop signs and intersections, all without remote control by humans, and within a six-hour time frame.

According to Brad Kruse, business development manager of Tyco Electronics M/A-COM automotive products, using Tyco’s sensor technology will enable “Boss” to rapidly detect multiple objects that are closely spaced, and respond to stationary and moving objects – necessary for navigating the vehicle through urban intersections and traffic.

“Urban Challenge technologies will dramatically improve the safety and capability of automotive travel today and into the future, said Red Whittaker, Carnegie Mellon University professor and team leader. “To succeed, breakthroughs in machine intelligence, sensing, planning and software reliability must be achieved.”

He added that while teams compete to win, the ultimate goal in to make driving safer, to create and deploy new autonomous navigation and robotic technologies, and to transform the public’s understanding of what is possible.

Red Whittaker will take part in a panel discussion: Push safety to new heights – The birth of the autonomous car, at Telematics Detroit 2007, which takes place on May 22-23.

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