Remeber Stanley the world’s first self-driving robot car? For those of you that don’t, Stanley was developed by 39-year-old Stanford professor, Thurn, of electrical engineering and his graduate students. The group won the DARPA Grand Challenge, a 131-mile robot car race across the desert near Las Vegas organized by the Pentagon. Well now GM wants in on the challenge and they are teaming up with Stanford University to develop a self-driving Chevrolet Tahoe to compete in the DARPA 2007 Urban Challenge competition.
The DARPA Urban Challenge competition will be held Nov. 3 in the western United States. GM and Stanford University will be driving their unmanned Chevy Tahoe, while Volkswagen and Stanford will be driving their Volkswagen Passat. Both cars, amongst other vehicles, will have to navigate safely through a 60-mile urban area course with merging traffic, stop signs and busy intersections in less than six hours without any remote control by humans.
General Motors Corp., Carnegie Mellon University and other partner companies are developing a self-driving Chevrolet Tahoe to compete in the 2007 Urban Challenge competition, created by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). The DARPA Urban Challenge competition will be held Nov. 3 in the western United States. The unmanned Tahoe will have to navigate safely through a 60-mile urban area course with merging traffic, stop signs and busy intersections in less than six hours without any remote control by humans. The Tahoe, named “Boss” after GM Research founder Charles F. Kettering, is equipped with computer controls for driving and several radars, lasers and cameras for situation assessment. Computer software has been developed to enable the vehicle to drive itself.
“Imagine a world where there are no car crashes and very little traffic congestion,” said Larry Burns, GM vice president of R&D and strategic planning. “This world is close to being proven thanks to the rapid advancement of electronics and communications technology. We are actively developing cars that can drive themselves and the DARPA Urban Challenge provides an excellent opportunity to demonstrate our progress.”
In addition to its premier sponsorship of the Tartan Racing Team, GM is working with Carnegie Mellon University on autonomous driving technologies through its collaborative research laboratory at the university in Pittsburgh. More information on the Tartan Team can be viewed at http://www.tartanracing.org/.
According to Alan Taub, GM executive director of R&D, collaboration with universities and supplier partners is vital to the development of this technology.
“We have been working closely with Carnegie Mellon University for seven years in the development of information and communications technologies and are extremely pleased with the results we are seeing,” said Taub. “Participating in a competition like the DARPA Urban Challenge strengthens our relationship.”
In addition to GM and Carnegie Mellon University, the Tartan Team is supported by the following sponsors: Caterpillar; Continental AG; Intel; Google; Applanix; TeleAtlas; Vector; Ibeo; Mobileye; CarSim; CleanPower Resources; M/A-COM; NetApp; Vector; CANtech; and Hewlett Packard.
Information on the DARPA Urban Challenge is available at www.darpa.mil/grandchallenge/index.asp.