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Stanford's Stanley enters DARPA Grand Challenge


Stanford recently took the wraps off Stanley, its entry in the DARPA Grand Challenge, where it will compete against 19 other driverless vehicles in a 175-mile race across the Mojave Desert. Based on a Volkswagon Touareg, Stanley has a fuel-efficient turbodiesel engine that should let the vehicle complete a 10-hour race and power all its electronics on a single tank of gas. For navigation, the vehicle has an array of sensors and GPS to determine Stanley's position within 2 inches, plus roof-mounted lasers on the lookout for obstacles in front of the vehicle. It also has long-range rader to scan the horizon and stereo-vision cameras to take pictures of the course, which are fed into a computer algorithm that learns the terrain and determines the best driving surface. What's more, the whole thing is actually street legal, something that can't be said for most of the entries in the DARPA challenge.