Only 1 week until the beginning of the 2007 DARPA Urban Challenge in VictorVille, CA

This is a head’s up thread to remind people of this upcoming event. 35 teams will compete at the qualification event from October 26th - 31st to be whittled down into 20 teams. On Saturday November 3rd, the 20 qualifying teams will be sent out on a ‘mission’ to 5 waypoints within VictorVille, California to last no longer than 6 hours. Teams will have to contend with other robots, other traffic, unexpectedly blocked routes, and other uncertain things that weren’t present in the 1st and 2nd Grand Challenges. An interesting aspect that I hadn’t read about before (it’s in the first link) is that they will be marking the robots as if they are completing a California driver’s test. It will be entirely possible for a robot to finish within 6 hours, yet be disqualified for traffic infractions.

Links:
-CNET had a very good interview with the director of DARPA about the Urban Challenge yesterday: Here
-Main DARPA Urban Challenge site: Here
-List of Semifinalists: Here
-Semifinalist hometowns: Here
-Awesome 49-minute lecture to Google employees by the winner of the 2nd Grand Challenge, Sebastian Thrun: Here
And the most important bit for those people who live near Victorville: The Spectator Schedule

I believe there was a FIRST-related team entered in the Urban Challenge, but it looks like they didn’t make it to the semifinals.

I am very excited because the team from MIT also includes students from Olin College (where I go). Last year a group of seniors (and some non-seniors assisting, I believe) worked with MIT on their DARPA Grand Challenge vehicle. It was extremely exciting to see that they had advanced to this level of the competition, and I wish them the best of luck getting through the next stage!

The sheer complexity and quantity of design forethought that is put into these vehicles is incredible. To think that a completely autonomous vehicle can navigate an urban environment is absolutely amazing.

Very awesome! Living in Palo Alto, I’ve seen the Stanford entry driving around in the streets more than once or twice, and it looks excellent as usual.

I had the privilege of working on Cornell’s entry this past year and a half. Along with FIRST, it was by far one of the most educational, interesting, and exciting experiences I’ve ever had. I learned more throughout the course of the build working on the car than I have from any of my classes to date (which isn’t to say that I haven’t learned a tremendous amount from classes).

I’ll be flying down on Wednesday to see the competition for a few days, until I have to go back to work on Tuesday. I can’t wait to see the other entries, and I especially can’t wait to see our car compete after a very long and challenging build. Moreover, I’m excited to have a lot more information and knowledge that I can bring with me when mentoring FIRST teams. This is certainly an experience I won’t soon forget.

Qualification rounds have begun today.

TGDaily has a whole lot of articles and team profiles/interviews they posted today, but their site is a bit tough to navigate to find all the DARPA stuff:
Opening Ceremonies
Interview with Axion Racing from Westlake Village, CA and their Jeep
Interview with Ody-Era from Kokomo, IN and their Mercury Mariner
Interview with Princeton University and their Ford Escape
Interview with NC State and their Lotus Elise
…and on the other end of the size scale from the Lotus team…
Videos from Team Oshkosh Truck (I really liked these)

Edit: There are some good team blogs too. Interestingly, I only managed to find frequently-updated blogs on the less-well-financed teams’ sites.
Insight Racing (The Lotus Team)
CajunBot
Cornell (good luck Adam Shapiro!)

Edit2: Methodically went to each team site and went blog-hunting. Here are all the ones that seem to be updating daily or better
CIMAR
Team Jefferson
Princeton
Sting Racing
Virginia Tech (team Victor Tango)

We have the great opportunity to go watch the DARPA Urban Challenge. We leave Friday at noon from Phoenix. We are excited that we will be there to watch history happen! We have been invited to stop by and visit the DARPA Grand Challenge winner, Stanford Racing Team headed By Sebastian Thrun. We can’t wait! We will be video taping hoping to make a mini documentary.

I got to work with the cajunbot team some over the last two years deveolping future packaging and design of thier vehicle, it was great fun getting to teach other designers the ins and outs of robots and liasoning btwn the engineering team and the design team. Any updates from people there would be awesome!

Yeah for the Cat team Victor Tango! Peoria teams were able to get a ride in this vehicle back in June. Very impressive. Good luck Viginia Tech students!

I just got back from NQE last night (I will be returning this weekend for the final event). So far it has been an extremely impressive display of talent, hard work, and innovation. Though I can’t describe the qualifying tests, I can say that they are very difficult, even for the most advanced teams, and everyone who has attempted the task of completing them has done an amazing job.

The following are a few teams that I have been particularly impressed with so far, both in design and performance. Though I’ve only listed a few, rest assured that is not nearly the whole list.

Team Lux - Lux’s car is very impressive in that it is nearly impossible to tell it is an autonomous vehicle by looking at it, unless you were already aware. They have built all sensors within the confines of the car, and all wiring and computers are hidden under the car’s panels.

Team AnnieWAY - This German team has done an incredible job with the very difficult task of negotiating intersections and merging into moving traffic. Watching their run on the course that tested those behaviors was a great experience. They took turns smoothly, handled occluded cars properly, and generally looked like there wasn’t an empty driver’s seat inside.

Stanford Racing - As expected, Stanford has lived up to their previous performance and put on quite a show. Stanford has worked very closely with VW to produce a really smooth drive-by-wire system and a really cool dynamic AI. Their car drives and navigates beautifully.

Of note:
Team TerraMax - When Oshkosh says they build big trucks, it is in no way an understatement.

Insight Racing - A Lotus driving around the course on its own is a pretty cool thing to see. Seeing it parked next to TerraMax waiting for a practice time is another thing all together! :ahh:

Axion Racing - They used a PS3 as an image processing system. Enough said.

There are many, many other teams I’d like to mention but the list would go on for quite a while. There are still a few days remaining before the final event, so it’s still anyone’s guess who will make it to the final event on Saturday. All I can say is that I wish all teams good luck!

PS. Team Cornell is doing very well by the way. As of this morning we’ve run 4 of 6 test runs, and aside from a few minor code bugs our vehicle, Skynet, has out-performed our expectations. I’m very proud of everyone on the team, and I’m honored to have had the opportunity to work with them. I will be flying back down Friday for the final event, so I’ll keep everyone posted.

Bah, Sting Racing is out of it. Durn those unprocessed stop commands!

I’m going to be at Brunswick Eruption that day. Any chance the good folks at team 25 could put this on a tv/monitor somewhere in case we’ve got some down time?

I’m going to be at Brunswick Eruption that day. Any chance the good folks at team 25 could put this on a tv/monitor somewhere in case we’ve got some down time?

The webcast link should be at http://www.grandchallenge.org/ on Nov 3 if you have a laptop.

I’ve just read that you guys have qualified (along with Stanford, CMU, and Virginia Tech) for the main event. Congratulations!

General update:
DARPA eliminated 12 teams from the running today, and qualified 4 for the main race. The 12 teams are:
First Group eliminated:

  1. George Tech/SAIC Sting Racing,
  2. Ody-Era,
  3. SciAutonics/Auburn Engineering,
  4. Team Berlin,
  5. University of Utah and
  6. Princeton University.

Second group:

  1. Caltech
  2. Mojavaton
  3. Team Jefferson
  4. Team Urbanator
  5. Gator Nation
  6. Team Juggernaut.

This means there are still 23 teams vying for the 20 remaining spots.

My blog list is now:
http://www.cajunbot.com%2Fblog_xml.php%3Fcat%3D1 - CajunBot
http://www.teamjefferson.com%2F%3Fq%3Dblog%2F4%2Ffeed - Team Jefferson (eliminated)
http://pave.princeton.edu%2Fmain%2Ffeed%2F - Princeton (eliminated)
http://raceinformation.insightracing.org%2F%3Ffeed%3Drss2 (Insight Racing)
http://blogs.intel.com%2Fresearch%2Fatom.xml (Stanford) (passed!)
http://stingracing.wordpress.com%2Ffeed%2F (Sting Racing) (eliminated)
http://cudgc.blogspot.com%2Ffeeds%2Fposts%2Fdefault (Cornell) (passed!)
http://teamvictortango.blogspot.com%2Ffeeds%2Fposts%2Fdefault (Virginia Tech) (passed!)
http://www.tartanracing.org/blog/ (CMU) (passed!)
http://www.team-lux.com/ (LUX) (eliminated)
http://gc.caltech.edu/public/Team_Caltech (Caltech) (eliminated)

So in fact, all 4 teams that have pre-qualified for the race have blogs and you can read up on their thoughts.

Yep, I got the call about that while at work today. It definitely made the day go faster. :slight_smile: I’m very excited to see which of the remaining teams will continue on to the final event.

There is no webcast of this event? Or is there?

There ya go, Freddy.