Illustration for article titled DARPA Grand Challenge: Update from the Course

Out here on the urban challenge course in Victorville, California, it's UPenn, MIT, Stanford, Carnegie Mellon, Virginia Tech and Cornell out of the original 11 left in the DARPA Grand Challenge. Of these, all said teams' autonomous vehicles have completed mission two as of 1:05 pm PT, with Cornell the final team to finish. All the cars are racing on the same course, but each has a unique mission plugged into it, meaning they have to interface with each other as well as a team professional drivers behind the wheel of several stunt Ford Tauruses. (More after the jump.)

The monster TerraMax Oshkosh truck fouled out when it hit a defunct base exchange. UCF went out of bounds in a residential area, hitting the side of a house. Honeywell was pulled out of the race for driving outside of its lane consistently. Team AnnieWay got stuck at an intersection. CarOLO was also disqualified.


MIT aggressively attempted to overtake Cornell, who's been having a bit of trouble keeping its vehicle moving. The two collided, with MIT at fault. Scoring isn't publicly discussed, but this could be a pretty big penalty. Stanford's Junior is similarly aggressive when the route is blocked, but so far has avoided collisions.

Stanford and Carnegie Mellon's entries are the two most confident and speedy robots on the course, with Virginia Tech right behind them. Watching the cars drive is almost like watching a person drive. They're quick and take corners well. So far, they've been the most fun to watch.

Stanford was the first to complete all of its missions, but final scoring will determine the ultimate winner. (I'm betting it's Stanford).

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