Illustration for article titled DARPA Grand Challenge: Team LUXs Lament

I'd been interested in Team LUX from the first time I saw their car in person. That's why I was really hoping to see them in the final race. Unlike some other teams, they stuck around for the finals after being disqualified a few days ago. Turns out they were eliminated because their car was unable to navigate on the dirt portion of the track. Without lane markers or any obvious edges to follow, the car simply didn't know what to do. They also had some technical issues. Their car died once during qualifying, but nobody knew whether it was a car problem, a computer glitch or the kill relay system. Also, in a very unlucky move, the car went kamikaze on DARPA's Dr. Tether's chase vehicle. While the Team-LUX members are confident a collision would not have happened — after all that's their specialty — the good ol' Doc was less optimistic and ordered the kill command be sent. No team knows their scores or the final nail in the coffin of their disqualification, so it's hard to say for sure, but in the end, the dirt road portion of the course would have killed 'em anyway.


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