World News: Tartan Racing wins DARPA Urban Challenge

World News:  Tartan Racing wins DARPA Urban Challenge

If the DARPA Urban Challenge is anything to go by, then the future of safe road traffic lies in laser technology.

Carnegie Mellon's Tartan Racing was declared the winner of the DARPA Urban Challenge – a race for driverless cars held in the US last weekend.

A self-driving 2007 Chevy Tahoe SUV called Boss made history by driving swiftly and safely while sharing the road with human drivers plus eleven other autonomous vehicles.

According to DARPA director Tony Tehter, many of the robots made good decisions, which made speed the determining factor. Tether said that Boss averaged about 14 mph over approximately 55 miles, finishing the course about twenty minutes ahead of the second-place finisher, Stanford.

“This is really a fantastic accomplishment,” said William ‘Red’ Whittaker, a Carnegie Mellon robotics professor and team leader of Tartan Racing. “I watched these things driving and I forgot after a while that there was nobody in there.”

The winning Tartan Racing Team, second-place Stanford Racing Team, third-place Victor Tango Team plus three other competitors all used Ibeo laser sensors, which recognise surroundings and react to the prevailing conditions in fractions of a second.

These laser scanners are designed for driver assistance functions such as pedestrian protection, automatic emergency braking, traffic jam assistance and much more. The Ibeo LUX scanner that tested successfully at the DARPA Urban Challenge will enter small-scale production in the fall of 2008.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *