Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Robotics The Military Hardware

Carnegie Mellon Wins Urban Challenge 153

Posted by Zonk
from the go-nerd-racers-gooo dept.
ThinkingInBinary writes "The results from the Urban Challenge are in! Carnegie Mellon's Tartan Racing team came in first (earning a $2 million prize), followed by Stanford's Stanford Racing team in second (earning $1 mil) and Virginia Tech's Victor Tango in third (earning $500k). Cornell's Team Cornell, University of Pennsylvania and Lehigh University's Ben Franklin Racing Team, and MIT, also finished the race in that order."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Carnegie Mellon Wins Urban Challenge

Comments Filter:
  • Congratulations! (Score:1, Insightful)

    by S.Cohen (1129095) *
    Congrats to the winners and all the other contestants!
  • by Anonymous Coward
    a nice link to Wired blog entries (from the darpa site) http://blog.wired.com/defense/urban_challenge/index.html [wired.com]
  • Was the tartan team wearing kilts?

    Oh, and does it run on Volkswagon?
  • I was really bummed when I learned Stanford beat us by a few minutes, but apparently the scoring worked out in our favor. I got to sit in on several of the Tartan Racing meetings, and the technology they came up with was fascinating.
  • Congrats to all the winners! Tons of hard work I'm sure and some impressive results! I'm going to enjoy reading all the postmortems and such. This research really interests me. I love all the creative use of algorithms and technology. Again, congrats and well done!
  • So these guys get some millions from public funding and does the public get any opensource out of it ?
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by PhunkySchtuff (208108)
      I doubt that any of these teams will have turned a profit on this competition - do you have any idea how much it costs to field an entry, including staff, equipment, materials, entry fees etc?
      • by Dare nMc (468959) on Sunday November 04, 2007 @10:16PM (#21237051)

        I doubt that any of these teams will have turned a profit on this competition

        Did you miss the red bull,GM, google, caterpillar, VW, Bosch, paint job?
        • by p0tat03 (985078) on Sunday November 04, 2007 @11:04PM (#21237345)
          Did you miss all the expensive equipment mounted on the car? Have you ever entered an engineering competition? Almost all teams take commercial sponsors, annd rarely do teams make a profit - after all, you only solicit as many sponsors as it takes to get the project built.
          • by Dare nMc (468959)

            rarely do teams make a profit - after all, you only solicit as many sponsors as it takes to get the project built.

            Ok, so you have gotten just enough sponsors to build the darn thing, you build it, maxing out all the resources you can use up. Then you win $2 million dollars.
            I suppose it would be possible that your sponsors made a stipulation they get their cut. Doubtfull, I suspect every dollar went to Carnegie Mellon to start a new project. Possible that you borrowed a bunch of stuff to build the car, an

      • by Chris Pimlott (16212) on Sunday November 04, 2007 @11:07PM (#21237369)
        I doubt that any of these teams will have turned a profit on this competition

        But I'm sure they'll have turned out a good number of masters, phds and scientific papers.
    • by Ironsides (739422) on Sunday November 04, 2007 @10:07PM (#21236979) Homepage Journal
      All three teams took development money from DARPA. As such, DARPA gets a copy of all software and development notes that the teams produced.
      • by snarkh (118018)
        As such, DARPA gets a copy of all software and development notes that the teams produced.

        This information is useless without having the expertise of the people involved. The major goal of DARPA is to promote development of these technologies (to the point where they can be used in military applications), which they do by financing a number of teams.
        • by Ironsides (739422)
          You're saying that having the software, source code, the notes and the documentation for the software is useless? What kind of crappy software documentation process do you follow?
          • by snarkh (118018)

            Those are very complicated systems. Without people who understand the principles of their design the code is pretty much useless.

    • by Cheapy (809643)
      An open source car that drives itself?

      Is that really safe? I mean this test was under very strict restrictions. They cleared the entire course.
    • by timmarhy (659436) on Sunday November 04, 2007 @11:06PM (#21237357)
      if it was open source, the car would first ask you to load kld_brake_for_kids. After struggling with that for a few days you'd get on the road only to find you crash into a tree because the cars hardware isn't compatible, and some guy on /. would tell you it's ok because you have the source and can write your own do not crash into tree's module.
      • by Thrip (994947)
        You're right. It would be much better if the car just sat in your driveway for half an hour while asking you whether you want to pay for 50 types of crapware, then forced you to call in with your social security number because your new air freshener doesn't match the one their database says was installed when you registered, and when it finally got going, crashed into another car because the botnet virus on your car is at war with the botnet virus on the other one. Thanks, but let's keep the phrase "blue sc
    • by Spy Hunter (317220) on Sunday November 04, 2007 @11:20PM (#21237439) Journal
      No, no open source code. But what the public does get out of this is advances in technology. Case in point: the *real* winners of this year's Urban Challenge are Velodyne [velodyne.com]. Their lidar sensor was invented by team DAD for the 2005 challenge. For the 2007 challenge, they decided that instead of losing the competition again, they would sell their lidar technology to the other teams. Over half of the 35 teams in the challenge bought one, and 5 of the 6 finishers (Virginia Tech being the exception).

      This thing is a huge advance over previous technology for this application, and it directly owes its existence to this challenge. Thanks to DARPA, you can now buy a lidar that you can stick on top of a car and which gives you 360 degree range data in 3D at 10 Hz over Ethernet. Now that the company is jump-started, next year those specs will improve, costs will go down, and eventually something like this will be driving your car for you. That's the benefit everyone gets from this competition. Not to mention all the people whose imaginations have been captured by the competition; who have been working on the funding DARPA gave out, getting their PhDs, or even just working in their spare time, learning how to write the software to run these things. There's no doubt in my mind that DARPA has gotten far more mileage from their money in this contest than they would have dumping it in the accounts of some defense contractor.

      So even though no open source was produced from the contest, the public will see a lot of benefit from the money DARPA has spent.
  • MIT? (Score:4, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 04, 2007 @09:56PM (#21236911)
    MIT, MIT...

    Oh yeah, isn't that kind of like Massachusetts' version of CMU?
  • by IanDanforth (753892) on Sunday November 04, 2007 @10:02PM (#21236953)
    While the immediate winners of the race are the three teams holding checks, as well as the military which gets to pick from a field of highly successful new technology, the real beneficiaries will be the drivers of the world. I believe the importance of this hasn't quite filtered into most people's minds.

    Many people know that more than 40,000 people die each year in motor vehicle accidents, however when it comes to people I feel this number is insufficient. "More than 40,000 people" have been dying each year now for more than a decade, and that's only in the US. Since I was 17 more than four hundred thousand people have died participating in an activity that machines can now do flawlessly (if very slowly). This blows my mind.

    Worldwide, 1.2 million people die on the roads every year and the repercussions of these deaths on families and friends can be unusually devastating due to their sudden, unexpected nature.

    The performance of these three teams is akin to three major pharmaceuticals all announcing they have come up with a cure for one of the major cancers. That, surely, would have been worldwide front-page news.

    Now, of course, the real debate begins. How much more will consumers be willing to pay for safe vehicles, and what limitations on speed will they accept? Rolling out this technology (if you'll excuse the play on words) will require changes in infrastructure, law, and cultural mentality. Especially here in the states. If it means saving this many lives, will you pay twice as much and drive at half speed, at least for a little while?

    • by Harmonious Botch (921977) * on Sunday November 04, 2007 @10:06PM (#21236977) Homepage Journal

      Many people know that more than 40,000 people die each year in motor vehicle accidents, however when it comes to people I feel this number is insufficient.
      I feel that way myself sometimes.
    • by seanthenerd (678349) on Sunday November 04, 2007 @10:12PM (#21237009) Journal

      Now, of course, the real debate begins. How much more will consumers be willing to pay for safe vehicles, and what limitations on speed will they accept? Rolling out this technology (if you'll excuse the play on words) will require changes in infrastructure, law, and cultural mentality. Especially here in the states. If it means saving this many lives, will you pay twice as much and drive at half speed, at least for a little while?
      Even more so, how much would people be willing to not drive at all?

      It's kind of interesting how much effort has gone in to building a robot that can drive in (error-prone) human traffic. If, on the other hand, *every* car was automated, it would be so much easier to implement. (Controls built into the road, maybe, and of course less need to handle wildly out-of-control cars; plus benefits like optimized freeways (anyone remember "Blue Thunder"'s freeway?) and intelligent intersections that talk to incoming cars, etc.) I think the eventual progression is to automated and efficient public transportation, where no one owns their own car, nor needs to. Did anybody consider, back in the day, if one car per person/family was actually a good idea?
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by erlehmann (1045500)

        If, on the other hand, *every* car was automated, it would be so much easier to implement.
        also, if every car was automated and the controls were built into the road, there would be a massive single point of failure.
        • by kurthr (30155)
          This is just silly. Just because there is a communication network, and a protocol does not mean that there needs to be a single point of failure. Cars can even test that the other cars are following the correct protocols, and are in proper communication. There would always be problems with loan psychotics vehicles, but people drive into market places, and drive drunk all the time.

          Comments like this make me realize that South Korea will probably be the first place that has computer controlled vehicles, becau
      • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

        by QuantumG (50515)
        Why do so many geeks appear to be more at home in soviet russia than in the free world?

        What gives you the right to decide who can and can't have a car?
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by fain0v (257098)
          Driving is a privilage, not a right.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Erioll (229536)
            Most freedoms are privileges (from a pure survival standpoint I mean), yet we've made them rights because we feel they make for a better society overall. Be VERY careful whenever you want to clamp down on something we've had choice in for quite a long time.
          • by hackstraw (262471)
            Driving is a privilage, not a right.

            This mantra is repeated all the time, but I can tell you from people who live in the suburbs that do not drive in the US in 2007 -- well they are essentially handicapped.

            I don't want to drive. I would rather teleport or be driven around with other people so that I could socialize with them while traveling, or I would like to have a driver on my staff drive me to work in my limo.

            Driving is basically a necessity. Not a privilege, nor a right.

            Why does the government spend
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by pinkocommie (696223)
          I don't think its about that per se. It's about finding and implementing the most efficient transportation mechanism. If you could develop a fully automated system, you wouldn't need to own cars since they could be available on demand. How many hours are cars driven vs garaged, one could reduce the total number of automobiles by a factor of 5 if not more.
          I remember seeing an article on here a while ago about mass transit that went to each neighborhood but instead of trains were 4 passenger vehicles that w
          • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

            by QuantumG (50515)
            People like owning cars (and other things). There's a reason. It's related to this 'freedom' concept that I'm so big on. In fact, there's a whole school of thought that suggests that freedom is not possible without property. Somehow, this is counter-intuitive to some.

            • by Cassius Corodes (1084513) on Sunday November 04, 2007 @10:57PM (#21237295)
              I thought true freedom came only when you had nothing to tie you down?
            • by timeOday (582209) on Sunday November 04, 2007 @11:19PM (#21237425)

              In fact, there's a whole school of thought that suggests that freedom is not possible without property. Somehow, this is counter-intuitive to some.
              I think freedom is good, and property is good. However, the two are not synonymous, in fact they're in opposition! Ownership is the legal right to restrict the actions of others (namely the freedom to walk off with things). Again, not that ownership is a bad idea, I just think it's funny how people who think they hate government actually love certain legal contrivances, such as ownership, and call anything they like "freedom" even when referring to restrictive laws which they support.
              • by evilviper (135110)

                Ownership is the legal right to restrict the actions of others (namely the freedom to walk off with things).

                Freedom != Anarchy

                Property is an absolute necessity, second only to life. If I can't stop someone from taking the clothes off my back, and food from my mouth, I'm seriously restricted in my own freedom.

                The same goes for your own life. You aren't free if anyone can just kill you, yet others aren't 'free' if they are prevented from killing you.

              • Come on, surely you are capable of deeper thought than this

                Freedom is a duty, not a right. It is a duty to use violence to protect others when people interfere with their freedom. Only this can guarantee your own freedom. So stealing is obviously in opposition with freedom, while ownership is not.

                So you see freedom is in fact a very, very "restrictive" law. It forces your hand in many situations to do something. Without these actions however, that are now mostly taken for granted, there would be no freedom.

            • by Korin43 (881732)
              Or you could, you know, decide for yourself if you want to share cars like this. I happen to not care what car I'm driving as long as it moves, and if I could get a car that drives itself cheaper than paying for a car, I think I could handle not actually owning one. (not to mention that I prefer to walk, so having a car isn't very useful for me most of the time)
          • by HiThere (15173)
            The first problem with that solution is that some people seem to be compelled to vandalize things if nobody's watching. A camera doesn't seem to count. (Well, actually the camera *IS* the first thing vandalized, so I suppose it DOES count, but not in a useful manner.)

            Some societies handle this better than others, but I believe that all have a problem with this. (The US appears to me to average worse than Japan...but I never worked for a transportation company in Japan.) The amount of graffiti is probabl
        • by Novae D'Arx (1104915) on Sunday November 04, 2007 @11:03PM (#21237343) Homepage Journal
          Oh, let's see - maybe the fact that I have to share the roads with dangerous drivers?

          We limit the rights of some to protect the rights of all - if you are an unsafe driver, I will happily limit your right to drive if it increases the rights of the majority to drive safely.

          That, my snide friend, is what gives me the right - the same right that pretty much all of the laws of the US are based on. Also the same reason you have to take a driving test and maintain a driver's license. Yes, that's right, a license to drive. Pretty "Soviet", eh? In your view, is it only American if we just let everyone jump behind the wheel, even the blind and insane, because "America, Fuck Yeah!"?

          I'm sorry, but think before you post. It enriches us all.
          • by HiThere (15173)
            Well, the last time I checked you didn't need a driver's license in North Dakota. I think that was the only state that didn't require it.

            (IIRC, if you don't require drivers licenses, the Feds won't put in any Interstate Highways...but North Dakota wouldn't get one anyway...so they didn't bother. If you didn't cap your speed limit, the Feds wouldn't but in any Interstate Highways...but...)

            OTOH, do remember that North Dakota is a largely rural state with a low population. Things that make sense in urban s
          • You're going to take all our licenses away? Be reasonable, you'll perfectly safe as long as you stay away from the Country Kitchen Buffet [wikipedia.org]. On another note, I'm all in favor of this just as soon as the government starts handing out free cars. Just because you can afford a shiny hybrid electric chauffeur doesn't mean poor people can.

            We limit the rights of some to protect the rights of all - if you are an unsafe driver, I will happily limit your right to drive if it increases the rights of the majority to d

        • by timeOday (582209) on Sunday November 04, 2007 @11:14PM (#21237403)

          What gives you the right to decide who can and can't have a car?
          I don't know who you're responding to, since nobody suggested forcibly taking away cars. But I do find it very interesting how people respond to deaths from various sources. 40K per year is a pretty staggering number. Terrorism, for instance, is insignificant in comparison. Even the number of Americans killed in World War II is only 1 decade of auto deaths!
          • by Kingrames (858416)
            Even the number of Americans killed in World War II is only 1 decade of auto deaths!

            Well yeah, we did wait until you guys got tired to join in.
          • 40K only sounds like a staggering number because you haven't put it into any context.

            The government pegs the number of vehicles in the US at more than 243 million (only about 2.5m are large commercial vehicles -- multi-axle trucks). The NHTSA's 2001 statistics say 90% of Americans drive to work... that's more than 250 million people.

            When you consider that a quarter billion Americans spend anywhere from a few minutes up to several hours driving every single day of every year, 40K starts to look like a rather
        • Because geeks -- computer geeks, anyway -- tend to be of an engineering mindset, rather than an analyst mindset. Hence, you have the distinction between the beliefs in engineering and spontaneous order: a distinction between the beliefs in pre-planning and proaction to a successful outcome, and a successful outcome arising purely reactively through the interactions between multiple agents. Engineering versus emergent behavior.

          Free-market economics professor Russell Roberts wrote a good piece on the differ [econlib.org]
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Spy Hunter (317220)
        Firstly, a car you can't ever drive would never sell in the US. People want control, they want the ability to drive off-road even if they never actually do (see SUVs), and they love their older cars too much to stop driving them. Secondly, even if every car was automated, that would only take care of a *few* of the problems faced by automated vehicles. They would still have to deal with all of the problems that are caused by things other than unpredictable drivers, such as: wind, rain, snow, ice, fog, lo
      • by Da Fokka (94074) on Monday November 05, 2007 @06:38AM (#21239405) Homepage
        Transition is the key issue. If we were to redesign the transportation system again given the current state of knowledge and technology, it would probably be vastly different than the system that is currently in place. However, there already is a system in place which is crucial for every aspect of our lives. So a feasible transition plan will have to be central in any new technology.
      • by blincoln (592401)
        I think the eventual progression is to automated and efficient public transportation, where no one owns their own car, nor needs to.

        ...and no one can use it to go any real distance without the government knowing where they've been.
    • Especially here in the states. If it means saving this many lives, will you pay twice as much and drive at half speed, at least for a little while?

      Ha! In the USA? People here are usually glad to pay ridiculous prices for things that are otherwise free or far less costly (I'm thinking bottled water and cars that aren't gas guzzlers). But that is a stretch even for Americans. And lets face it, saving lives generally doesn't make it to the top of most people's lists of Important Things.

    • It is already starting. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IkEu-PdVlK0 [youtube.com] for a video of the new Lexus self park. The market will determine what people are willing to pay. If I would have asked you 20 years ago if you wanted an automatic door lock/unlock, location, directions and other GPS related services, phone, crash detection and emergency contact after airbag deployment, and much more via a satellite connection in your car. You would have said it would cost a fortune.... now it is $16USA a month. The nature o
      • by CastrTroy (595695)
        The real question is, where is the $2000 car? While it's great that all these amenities are being added to cars, some of us don't really care about all these extra features, and just want a cheap car that gets them from point A to point B. Even the cheaper cars seem to come with a lot of extras that aren't really needed. While I realize there are a lot of costs such as materials, labor, and design that go into designing cars, I wish that some company would just try to make a car that was really cheap.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          Here [businessweek.com].
        • by timeOday (582209)
          How about a Kia Rio [kia.com] for $11.5K? They actually include "Body-color Exterior Door Handles" in the list of amenities, so I don't think it could be stripped down much more. It's still more than $2k, but even a raw ton of steel plate [steelonthenet.com] costs $800, so I don't think a $2000 car will happen. You can't blame it all on features, engines and transmissions do cost money too.
        • In 1986, there was the Yugo GV for $3990. You've seen a ton of them still on the road, because even though they were cheap, they lasted a long time.

          The Kia Rio was $6995 in 2000. The price has gone up, but I believe it is a lot more solid now.

          C'mon, Honda's smallest scooters run $2000. A brand new ATV will run $2800 min.

          It's not the features that cost money, it's the safety, labor, and materials. Long gone are the days, you could design a box on wheels and get Adolf Hitler to back you.
    • Since I was 17 more than four hundred thousand people have died participating in an activity that machines can now do flawlessly (if very slowly). This blows my mind.

      You're exaggerating, in the extreme.

      I'm willing to bet every (human) driver in this country would have succeeded with flying colors on this course as well. In fact the odds of a driver getting killed in an accident any specific day are extremely slim, and they'd be much smaller still, if you restrict that to low-speed driving, during the day,

    • Now, of course, the real debate begins. How much more will consumers be willing to pay for safe vehicles, and what limitations on speed will they accept? Rolling out this technology (if you'll excuse the play on words) will require changes in infrastructure, law, and cultural mentality. Especially here in the states. If it means saving this many lives, will you pay twice as much and drive at half speed, at least for a little while?

      Half speed?

      If you calculate the average speed in a traffic jam during the rush hour - hell, average it with a freeway while you're at it - you get half speed or worse.

      That's why the automated public transport idea is so great.

    • I'm not sure exactly what you're implying, that if we converted over to automated driving systems, driving deaths would disappear? That seems irrationally hopeful. Especially if some of our more popular software companies had anything to do with the systems controlling vehicles. It would bring all new meaning to the term, "blue screen of death" and "crash."
  • by seanthenerd (678349) on Sunday November 04, 2007 @10:03PM (#21236963) Journal
    How far this technology has come in just a few years is (ridiculously) amazing. Major kudos to everyone who's brought this so far!

    I only wish that one of the conditions of winning was to release the software that powered your car - can you imagine how much farther things would have come if everyone could build on the previous years' winners? So much brilliant coding has gone into this, but so much of it is just reinventing the wheel. (...Ouch.) But in all honesty, the state of the art would progress gigantically if one of the winners would GPL their car-driving software.
    • by SnowZero (92219) on Sunday November 04, 2007 @10:23PM (#21237111)
      The most important thing is that the algorithms are written up and published in peer-reviewed journals. That understanding is more important than the code itself. My RoboCup robootic soccer team published all of its source code one year, and not much came of it; Some people used it but they didn't really understand it. It's also hard to take the code and make it work with a different robot, as all the customized hardware on the robot means a lot of porting, and uncovering bugs and design limitations. Also, competition code often has its design stretched to the limit by the time the competition arrives, and if you redid it you might design it differently to make it cleaner. So, our papers have probably helped many more people than our code ever did. I did release a library along with some papers explaining it, and that worked well. But that's just a small part of the overall codebase.

      Of course, it would be nice to see the code out there, but the science is more important than the implementation. However, if we were talking about an off-the-shelf robot such as a roomba or aibo, the situation is quite different.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Grond (15515)
      Actually, this is a good example of something that would not be helped by the open source development model. How many hobbyists do you think have a multi-million dollar vehicle outfitted with all the necessary sensors and computers? And of those, how many do you think have a large testing area? And of those, how many have a team of people to prep the car and testing area for each test run?

      Most of the teams in the UC spent more on their car than was offered in prize money. They still profit because a lot
      • by leonbev (111395)
        One would hope that next year's challenge would include a stricter parts budget, in order to make this technology economically viable. If someone was able build a working prototype for... say... $50,000, you would see a lot of hobbyist teams attempting to build one on their own.

        And guys... PLEASE make sure that the damn thing works before putting one of them on a public road. Thanks :)
        • tractors (Score:2, Interesting)

          by zogger (617870)
          Similar tech is in use daily on large farms, but it is a rigidly defined route. Self steering tractors are very common now, there are even kits you can get that bolt on to your normal tractor. They are more intended for keeping precise plowing/tilling/planting etc spacing, where inches count highly, but using GPS and maps of the fields they work perfectly fine. If there was a dedicated lane next to existing freeways for slow and steady cargo delivery-separating human drivers from the bot drivers- this could
          • by laptop006 (37721)

            If there was a dedicated lane next to existing freeways for slow and steady cargo delivery-separating human drivers from the bot drivers- this could be done today fairly easily I think using similar off the shelf stuff.


            Um, yeah, they're called rails and they are generally more efficient then other forms of overland transport.
      • > Actually, this is a good example of something that would not be helped by the open source
        > development model. How many hobbyists do you think have a multi-million dollar vehicle
        > outfitted with all the necessary sensors and computers?

        So "Open Source" == "hobbyist"? Sun, NSA, IBM, Google, etc. are "hobbyists"?
        • by rm999 (775449)
          Those companies, if they need the algorithms, should be sponsoring the teams because they can afford it. It's the people/companies that can't afford this kind of development that would really benefit from open source.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      Well, the thing is it's a competition so I doubt that people would like to release their code for everyone else to profit off of. Also, I'd bet that some of the teams code specifically for the hardware they have, and it may or may not work on another platform. Our school competes in the underwater contest (only high school to compete heh) and right now our code is highly specific to our machine and our platform. With different pieces of hardware none of our code would work, although to be honest our code ki
  • Although I was hoping that Team OshKosh would finish the race... too bad but a truck that could navigate urban areas effectively would be more beneficial to the military, but on second thought I dont want our house to be @#$$@@NOCARRIER##$@#

    they should just tweak the truck to use the winner's technology :P, I'm quite impressed that they got the urban challenge the first time (no take two)
    • by Ironsides (739422)
      Teaking the truck to use one of the winning technology is relatively easy. It's the software algorithms itself that are hard.
      • by RuBLed (995686) on Sunday November 04, 2007 @10:43PM (#21237211)
        Ahhhh.. *lightbulb*

        Carnegie Mellon's algorithm

        //crossing an intersection
        if(OtherCars.SignallingToCross())
        {
        Me.Stop();
        Me.WaitForClear();
        }

        OshKosh Truck's modified algorithm (copied)

        //crossing an intersection
        if(OtherCars.SignallingToCross())
        {
        //Me.Stop();
        //Me.WaitForClear();
        Me.BuzzHorn(Max_Vol);
        }
  • MIT came in fourth! (Score:2, Informative)

    by Ndkchk (893797)
    Actually, according to the Wired blog, MIT came in fourth, although the other teams were not mentioned.
    • Anything can happen on-site that'll make your system fall apart. Neither MIT or Carnegie Melon did well in the Solar Decathlon, either, and that's because a lot of their stuff that was supposed to work ended up failing.
  • by Triv (181010) on Sunday November 04, 2007 @10:12PM (#21237007) Journal

    Nothing at all in that summary tells me what the Urban Challenge is; nothing in ANY of the links tells me concisely what it is, either; Wiki [wikipedia.org] eventually did. How hard would it be to include "a prize competition for driverless cars" in the first sentence of that article?

    Are y'all experimenting with automated posting or something, because that at least would make sense.


    Triv

    • maybe they thought the story on this very subject about half a page down was enough.
    • by advs89 (921250) *
      Y'all?? That's a "word" that I only hear where I live, here in Virginia...
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by rts008 (812749)
        Try getting out of your own area then. It will broaden your horizons.

        Y'all is prominent in Oklahoma,Missouri,California,Maryland, Virginia, Texas, Louisiana(all states that I have lived in). In my travels, most of the south and southwest in the USA will let you experience the whole y'all extravaganza.

        It's to the point that when I here something other than y'all, I take notice. South central Pennsylvania was the worst with you'uns instead of y'all for me.(as I type this I notice that Firefox's spell-checker
    • by danlor (309557)
      How about this? It's at the bottom of the first page of the first link.

      -----
      "Vehicles competing in the Urban Challenge will have to think like human drivers and continually make split-second decisions to avoid moving vehicles, including robotic vehicles without drivers, and operate safely on the course. The urban setting adds considerable complexity to the challenge faced by the robotic vehicles, and replicates the environments where many of today's military missions are conducted."
    • This is Slashdot. Does the sports section of your daily paper tell you what baseball is when they report on the World Series?
    • Sorry. I'm the one who posted the story. I was giddy from hearing we won and it never even occurred to me to make such a link -- I was busier making links to all the teams.

      Wait, what am I saying? This is Slashdot. Use Google.

      ;-)

      • by rts008 (812749)
        No need to apologize.
        And CONGRAT'S!!!

        This has been on /. and the nerd-news sites a good bit lately, so you can safely discount the occasional clueless troll.

        Hell, they don't even have to leave /. to search for this, but yes, Google would give them more than they could digest in time to post a relevant reply instead of just spouting nonsense.

        Again, congratulations! This was a noteworthy story for /., and a noteworthy win for y'all and the other finishing teams...cool, useful stuff that can be developed for t
    • You must be new here. There have been plenty of posts about the competition, so why rehash the basics every time? Would you like an explanation of the Olympic Games on every sports site page that mentions it? The Urban Challenge and the RoboCup are the geek's equivalents and thus do not require explanation on Slashdot.
      Oh, and a "wiki" is any site that allows user edits and is not short for Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wiki [wikipedia.org] In other words, you suffer from precisely the same obfuscatory abbreviati
  • by advs89 (921250) *
    It amazes me that Virginia Tech is right up there with Carnegie Mellon and Stanford. I'm happy to say that I'm going to get to go there (after two years of community college, yielding me a guaranteed transfer - as long as I get a 3.0 GPA in CC)...
  • by Organic Brain Damage (863655) on Sunday November 04, 2007 @10:59PM (#21237315)
    ... suicide car bombers.
  • MIT pimp ride (Score:4, Interesting)

    by guacamole (24270) on Sunday November 04, 2007 @11:06PM (#21237359)
    I almost laughed out loud when I saw pictures of MIT's pimped out Land Rover. Besides the numerous external sensors and other gear mounted on the vehicle, I read that there is so much internal equipment to manage everything that they had real heating issues that were solved by installing an additional air conditioner and a power generator to power the AC. This is what happens when you give some money and parts to a bunch of bright geeks with too much time.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Indeed, it's truly geeks running that show. Way in the beginning, they were thinking of putting some equipment in the engine bay... neglecting to realize that it gets f*cking hot in there while it's going. The LR3 is the second vehicle that MIT built up (the first was a Ford Escape.) They tested out the equipment in MA, where it's much cooler, so they got away with underrating the power supply for everything in the vehicle (there's somewhere between 5 and 10 kW worth of electrical generation underneath the
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I would be interested to know exactly what the scores where and how they were derived. From reading the Popular Mechanics [popularmechanics.com] (blog [popularmechanics.com]) and Register [theregister.co.uk] (blog [theregister.co.uk]) reports, it sounds like Stanford might have gotten a bit of the raw end of the stick.

    Specifically, the Register is reporting that it DARPA counted the up to 20min Stanford's car was stuck sandwiched between two other cars due to Cornell's robot screwing up against it, and Popular Mechanics is reporting that DARPA says Stanford lost to Carnegie Mellon by about
    • by beefstu01 (520880)
      You should get that straight. Cornell's robot didn't screw up-- MIT's car ran into it. MIT also took out another competitor, CarOLO I think it was.
      • by not5150 (732114)
        He was probably talking about the incident where Cornell's bot kept hitting the brakes for 5-10 minutes. But yes, MIT was the one that ran into Cornell at one point.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by not5150 (732114)
      I was at the race and Tartan Racing won fair and square. First, their bot started about 20 minutes after Stanford because they had some issues with some electrical interference coming from a nearby Jumbotron television (yes crazy I know). Stanford was paused for the MIT versus Cornell collision and was also paused a bit for Cornell's 10 minute stop and go routine on Nevada street. That was when Stanford's Junior decided to car hop from way back in line to the 2nd behind Cornell. Both Stanford and Tartan
  • ...when major players on the Auto Industry worked jointly with them and they weren't mentioned, unless one actually checks out the team bios?
    • Because I didn't have time to scan every team's website and list all of the sponsors. (Of course, it didn't make a difference, as Slashdot sat on the story for over 12 hours, instead of releasing it soon after the results were announced.) Then we reach the problem with GNU/Linux: we get "Carnegie Mellon and General Motors and Caterpillar and Intel and Google and Applanix and Tele Atlas and Castle Commerce Center and Vector and Ibeo and Mobileye and NetApp and CarSim Mechanical Simulation and Hewlett Packa

Life. Don't talk to me about life. - Marvin the Paranoid Anroid

Working...