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DARPA Grand Challenge starts tomorrow: drivers not required.

Ryan Block, @ryan
10.07.05
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DARPA Grand Challenge

Gentlemen, start your autonomous engines! Tomorrow contestents whose robot-car entrants passed the DARPA Grand Challenge semifinals this week will test their mettle in a grueling 175 mile race through the Mojave desert starting and ending in Primm, Nevada. The bots have no more than 10 hours to make the trip—that's a slowest average speed of 17.5 miles to qualify as winner, that is, if they don't flip or crash or stall or become aflame within a few miles of taking off like they did last year. Participating this year in addition to the private firms are such prestigious institutions as CalTech, Cornell, Princeton, Carnegie Mellon (both teams), Princeton, and Virginia Tech, all duking it out for the two million dollar purse at stake; but perhaps more importantly, the mad bragging rights honor of being the first winnner of the competition. We also hear there's a stretch limo entrant this year, so keep an eye out for those guys: robot tracking begins at 6:00AM PDT/9:00AM EST tomorrow morning. Check back here for the latest!

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