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NC State preps Lotus Elise for 2007 DARPA Urban Challenge

Darren Murph

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If the Cardinal (or Tartans) think that the 2007 DARPA Urban Challenge will be a gimme, they may want to sneak a peek at the looming competition. Students from NC State's College of Engineering are readying a highly modified Lotus Elise for next year's autonomous vehicle contest, and are working with Insight Technologies as well as Lotus' own engineering group to craft what's likely to be the sexiest unmanned vehicle on the track. Dubbed the Insight Racing team, the crew is loading the whip with "sensors and onboard computers that have been programmed to autonomously maneuver it through an urban setting complete with traffic, intersections and traffic circles." Moreover, the highly-coveted machine will be able to handle its own parking duties (and pose for glamour shots) when the day's done. After finishing 12th overall with just a Chevrolet Suburban in the 2005 Challenge, the Pack hopes its newfangled toy (and subsequent cornering abilities) can propel them to the top come next November.

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