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DARPA Semifinalists Selected

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the go-speed-robot-go dept.

Robotics 89

An anonymous reader writes "DARPA has selected thirty-six teams as Urban Challenge semifinalists to participate in the National Qualification Event. Both the webcast and press release can be found on the official site. Dr. Tony Tether reports that only 1 of the top 5 previous teams was rated in the top 5 of teams this year and 3 of the top 5 were not in the challenge finals last year. 'The semifinalists will compete in a final qualifying round at the site on October 26th and be whittled down to 20 teams. Those teams' vehicles will have to perform like cars with drivers to safely conduct a simulated battlefield supply mission on a 60-mile urban course, obeying California traffic laws while merging into traffic, navigating traffic circles and avoiding obstacles -- all in fewer than six hours. The team to successfully complete the mission with the fastest time wins.'"

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89 comments

To use a farkism (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20176771)

What could probably go wrong?

Re:To use a farkism (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20176945)

will one of them find Sarah Connor?

Re:To use a farkism (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20177021)

What was that computer game called where pedestrians had green blood and drivers got bonus points for artistic impression?

Re:To use a farkism (4, Funny)

sentientbeing (688713) | more than 6 years ago | (#20177313)

Frogger.

Re:To use a farkism (1)

Solra Bizna (716281) | more than 6 years ago | (#20180183)

You're thinking of Carmageddon, and the blood was only green in the versions released in some parts of Europe.

-:sigma.SB

Re:To use a farkism (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20177825)

What could probably go wrong?
How about if one of the automated vehicles crashes into a truck carrying nuclear weapons that was traveling through downtown LA. The engineers who designed the weapons had foreseen every possible accident scenario except this particular automated vehicle crashing into the back of the truck which causes the nuclear weapons to explode. Sleeper cell terrorists throughout the US see this as their signal so they detonate their hidden nuclear weapons in New York City, Washington, D.C., Houston, Chicago, etc. The Department of Defense assumes this is a sneak attack by Russia and China so it launches all of the US ICBMs and SLBMs sparking a full out nuclear war. Then the fallout cloud and nuclear winter then kills all humans on the planet.

Any other stupid questions?

Re:To use a farkism (2, Informative)

SwordsmanLuke (1083699) | more than 6 years ago | (#20183121)

Reminds of an old Dilbert strip (which, sadly, I cannot find a link to) where a potential customer is talking to Dilbert.

Customer: Well, what's the worst case scenario?
Dilbert: Our product could transform into a giant robot that annhiliates the universe.
PHB: (freaking out the background)
Dilbert: (Later, to Dogbert) Apparently, I don't know what "worst case" means.

fark is gay (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20177843)

see subject

No, Drew Curtis is gay! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20177875)

Totally full of himself. The site isn't even called fark. It is called "Drew Curtis' Fark.com" -- he is full of himself like the old eHarmony hag that keeps putting himself on the commercials.

Re:To use a farkism (1)

sethstorm (512897) | more than 6 years ago | (#20178463)

What could probably go wrong?
Well, if they interpret the highway code as a couple of celebrities do so...

Re:To use a farkism (1)

nospam007 (722110) | more than 6 years ago | (#20182079)

Well, if they interpret the highway code as a couple of celebrities do so...
---
It's not me, Officer, my car drove under D.U.I and it's also his coke.

Congrats to all.., (0, Offtopic)

S.Cohen (1129095) | more than 6 years ago | (#20176791)

and GO GATORS!!!

Re:Congrats to all.., (1)

doxology (636469) | more than 6 years ago | (#20176925)

I respectfully disagree.

GO STANFORD!

Re:Congrats to all.., (1)

S.Cohen (1129095) | more than 6 years ago | (#20177107)

Buying a car pre automated is as close to cheating as it comes for this competition...

Re:Congrats to all.., (1)

e4g4 (533831) | more than 6 years ago | (#20181767)

Pre-automated? You mean prebuilt with servos to control steering, braking, etc. - the hard part of this competition is not rigging a car so that it *can* be controlled by a computer (if it was, the Mythbusters wouldn't be able to rig a car for remote control every other episode) - it's actually *controlling* the car - Stanford isn't cheating, they just aren't Mech. Engineers, they're CS guys.

Re:Congrats to all.., (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20183127)

Aren't they the ones who have Bazillions in military funding though?

Seems like they're the equiv. of the Yankees in this competition.

Re:Congrats to all.., (1)

OldeTimeGeek (725417) | more than 6 years ago | (#20183561)

AFAIK, the Touareg that VW donated to Stanford wasn't automated any more than a standard one is. Granted, just about everything but the steering is automated in one of those things, but it wasn't particularly special...

Re:Congrats to all.., (1)

idetik (1121779) | more than 6 years ago | (#20177117)

I respectfully agree with this disagreement.

Re:Congrats to all.., (1)

Talennor (612270) | more than 6 years ago | (#20177903)

Yes, congrats to those 35 teams that get to compete with the Gators!

GO GATORS!!!

I'm not working on the team anymore (graduated), but my name's still on CIMAR's website!

Life imiitates Hollywood? (1)

John Jorsett (171560) | more than 6 years ago | (#20176825)

Anyone else think of the movie "Maximum Overdrive" when they first heard about this?

Re:Life imiitates Hollywood? (1)

bmo (77928) | more than 6 years ago | (#20177037)

I actually think of "Death Race 2000"...

--
BMO

Re:Life imiitates Hollywood? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20177153)

It seems a bit unfair. They only want to use them for combat resupply, and yet they're testing them in California traffic? It just seems disproportionate.

Re:Life imiitates Hollywood? (1)

Joe Tie. (567096) | more than 6 years ago | (#20177837)

I thought of killdozer.

Great. Let's go protest. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20176877)

No more.

Enough.

Our minds are not for sale to kill our fellow man.

Einstein would not approve. Nor would Eisenhower.

We while away the hours dreaming and becoming wise in the ways of bits and bytes, and motors and metal, but we did not do it so that others could perish at the hands of the incompetent, the arrogant, and the indifferent.

Take your hands off of our minds. Put that money back in your pockets.

Science did fine for thousands of years before the creation of atom weapons, space bombers, and killer drones. It will do fine long after these things have fallen out of fashion, and the militaries of the planet are reduced to police forces, who must pass their grand ideas for killer robots through a neighborhood committe filled with grandmothers and bakers, watched by school kids doing reports for high school civics class.

It has to end.

Re:Great. Let's go protest. (4, Insightful)

Original Replica (908688) | more than 6 years ago | (#20177129)

Science did fine for thousands of years before the creation of atom weapons, space bombers, and killer drones.

While I do agree with your sentiment, I'm afraid that science and war have been hand in hand for the vast majority of history.
"Archimedes has also been credited with improving the power and accuracy of the catapult, and with inventing the odometer during the First Punic War."http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Archimedes#Disco veries_and_inventions [wikipedia.org]
"In 1595-1598, Galileo devised and improved a Geometric and Military Compass suitable for use by gunners and surveyors. This expanded on earlier instruments designed by Niccolò Tartaglia and Guidobaldo del Monte. For gunners, it offered, in addition to a new and safer way of elevating cannons accurately, a way of quickly computing the charge of gunpowder for cannonballs of different sizes and materials.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Galileo_Gal ilei#Physics [wikipedia.org]
And of course we know well what happened to the inventions and insights of Noble and Einstein. Science and the waging of war feed each other back and forth. Militaries are always eager to use new technologies and scientists are usually eager to for the kind of resources and funding that militaries have access to.

Re:Great. Let's go protest. (3, Insightful)

Moniker42 (1131485) | more than 6 years ago | (#20177603)

I also agree with the premise. The US government is the biggest offender in this perpetual arms race with the world and themselves - but like many military inventions this has a civil purpose. It's not a new bio-bomb that can kill people more effectively, but a car that can rescue people and supply troops. It should lead to some useful inventions that we could be seeing in the commercial market soon enough.

My only worry with new military technology is that it will progress to the point where troops (American troops) will have no contact with the people they are liberating, killing or whatever - it could totally dehumanise war, making it all the easier for governments to fight senseless wars.

Re:Great. Let's go protest. (1)

lessthan (977374) | more than 6 years ago | (#20180431)

Please, this is being created by the military. The automated driving system will be broken more ofter than not. While I can imagine techology progressing to where a people-less war could be fought, I can't see a military pulling it off. Too much will break. "American parts, Russian parts. All made in Taiwan!"

Protest the missions, not tech re: ... protest (1)

rhyre417 (919946) | more than 6 years ago | (#20196443)

It's more helpful to the applications, not the technology itself.
20 years ago, I worked in support of robotics projects, at Carnegie-Mellon - part of the DARPA Strategic Computing initiative (a response to the Japanese Fifth-Generation Computing Project)
Some of my co-workers at MIT were concerned about military plans to use these vehicles, although the missions most often talked about were scout missions and smoke-laying (preparing the battlefield for attack by the humans, generally these scenarios were set in Germany)
The concerns about the military plans were premature then (it was a challenge to even drive reliably at 5 miles per hour). Recently, I have heard media coverage of plans to give weapons control to the software.
It is too easy, even given state of the art software, to subvert the sensors and other systems and fool software into shooting into something inappropriate, injuring civilians or non-combatants. Human have redundant sensors, working stereo vision, and common-sense reasoning capabilities.
Humans are fallible in different ways, but I don't support giving decisions on lethal force to software. Keeping a human in the loop is essential.

Re:Protest the missions, not tech re: ... protest (1)

lessthan (977374) | more than 6 years ago | (#20200705)

Right, and as long as the media keeps sticking its nose in the military's business, there will be a human in the loop. The military is PC paranoid, if there is even a hint of 'military machine rampage: more at 11' that will be the end of the project. They will take precautions.

Re:Great. Let's go protest. (1)

jeffeb3 (1036434) | more than 6 years ago | (#20183371)

It would also be useful for a human driver that was hurt in such a way that would make it difficult to drive out of harm to be able to puch a "go to the medic" button. Also, the motivation for this project is up for debate, especially since this technology is already being created by military contractors independently. Maybe this is to create opportunities for commercial opperations to learn how to make this technology. Maybe this is just to try to enlighten the public on what has been researched for years and will soon come to use.

Re:Great. Let's go protest. (1)

leonardluen (211265) | more than 6 years ago | (#20183391)

It should lead to some useful inventions that we could be seeing in the commercial market soon enough.
i also find it an irony we are having this debate over the internet...which was also designed by the us govt as part of an arms race.

Re:Great. Let's go protest. (1)

Moniker42 (1131485) | more than 6 years ago | (#20189891)

Yes, while most Internet technologies have been the work of private companies, Universities and research institutions like CERN the American military had a significant role in developing the early technology. What I was saying is their technologies designed for more effective killing can sometimes lead to a benefit to the general public, and the Internet is a very good example of this. (Although not by any stretch of the imagination can you say that it was entirely their creation.)

In response to lessthan - I was saying I don't want a people-less war. Because it's impossible to be so, it would probably end up (definitely in the near future) with one side being people-less (America) and the the other side (whoever) being a people's army. While I welcome any advance in civil engineering and human understanding I wish weapons of war had never been developed. The world would be a far better and more democratic place if all wars were fought with sticks and stones - the greater number of people wins. The way it is now soldiers can be totally desensitized to killing, destroying houses with "smart bombs" and firing ICBMs and cruise missiles without any contact with the people whose lives they are ending. The development of military technology is a sad side-effect of human technological and infrastructural progression. While I might be speaking a little out of my depth here with my patchy knowledge of history, but I think the way such a small number of Romans held such a dominance over so many people was due to their superior military tactics and technology, and this problem has only become more and more prevalent in the modern world with the development of guns, tanks and nukes.

Re:Great. Let's go protest. (2, Insightful)

The One and Only (691315) | more than 6 years ago | (#20179011)

Science only exists because the militaries of the world exist to do violence against the savages who would destroy it. Like it or not, things like science, technology, civilization, and society only exist because people are willing to protect their existence by means of physical force. Science owes its existence to the military, not the other way around. I wish it didn't have to be this way, but with 6 billion humans on the planet, even if all but one were committed pacifists, the only effect would be to make the last one king. He may have to club 10 pacifists to death before finding one to agree to serve him, but the end effect would be the same. And believe me, the probability of moral failure of the human being is far greater than 1 six-billionth.

Disagree? Let's apply the scientific method. Take a given society, and remove the institutionalized violence within. All the militaries and cops and assorted men with guns, disarmed and assigned to other work. See how long science continues to exist.

Don't disturb my circles. (2, Interesting)

Serious Callers Only (1022605) | more than 6 years ago | (#20182073)

Science only exists because the militaries of the world exist to do violence against the savages who would destroy it.


The death of Archimedes, among many other scientists during warfare, gives the lie to your words :

Many brutalities were committed in hot blood and the greed of gain, and it is on record that Archimedes, while intent upon figures which he had traced in the dust, and regardless of the hideous uproar of an army let loose to ravage and despoil a captured city, was killed by a soldier who did not know who he was. - Livy


Military might does not exist to defend science or civilisation, or any of the other things which we like to tell ourselves; far from it. It is used most often (including in our time) to brutalise others into submission and fealty, often at the cost of all of these values we pretend to hold dear. It's entirely unconnected to the existence of science or civil society, which is dependent on a stable wealthy society, not a warlike one - note that a strong military is not necessarily linked to a peaceful society or good science. Further to that, the use of force (or the threat of it) within civil society is not necessarily related to the use of force between nations in wars, so your argument of removing all military and police is really tilting at windmills.

This meme of virtue and physical force nurturing a delicate civilisation has been with us since the Romans, and it was a lie then, as it is now.

It's sad that many of our best endeavours have been linked to war (Archimedes for example also designed anti-siege equipment), but it doesn't mean that war produces the best of our science, or is the best use of our time. e.g. things like the atom bomb and nuclear power are often used as an example of advances given by warfare, however the groundwork for that was laid long before the second world war broke out, in efforts unrelated to warfare, by people like Rutherford and Bohr. Radar was discovered in 1904, etc, etc. If we spent half the time and money (not all but half say) we do killing each other on perfecting science and technology like this for civilian use, we would be a lot further on. That's a choice the US is confronted with today, and I don't believe they've chosen the balance wisely.

Re:Don't disturb my circles. (1)

The One and Only (691315) | more than 6 years ago | (#20187103)

It's the very existence of aggressive militaries that requires a peaceful society to be able to protect itself against them. Stable, wealthy societies do not last long without some sort of military protection, because an unprotected, wealthy society is only all the more appealing to those who would loot it. Of course it would be better if no one had a military, but that is not and never has been the case. And if it were the case, the first people to build a military and use it for aggressive purposes would take us all as slaves.

Institutional violence is necessary to maintain society. Never in world history has there ever been a society that adopted a sort of pacifist anarchy, in which there were absolutely no institutions charged with using physical force to uphold social order.

Further to that, the use of force (or the threat of it) within civil society is not necessarily related to the use of force between nations in wars, so your argument of removing all military and police is really tilting at windmills.

Force is force. Whether you have a small group of people calling themselves a street gang or a large group of people calling themselves the Prussian army is a difference of degree. Whether they rob banks or burn cities is a difference of tactic. Whether you handcuff them and take them prisoner at gunpoint or shoot them in the belly as they cross the border is a difference in response, dictated by the desire to uphold a peaceful society within your own borders. In either case, there exist people who intend to do force against peaceful members of a peaceful society, and a peaceful society must have means of protecting itself against them.

This will drive the Taliban crazy (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20176883)

Assuming that we are still in Afghanistan in ten years ... and I wouldn't bet that we won't be ... a fleet of these vehicles could really even things up with the Taliban. Imagine the Taliban ambush a vehicle to kidnap the occupants and too late they realize that the occupants are dummies. The vehicle explodes. YES! The terrorists get a taste of their own medicine.

Re:This will drive the Taliban crazy (0)

Chris Pimlott (16212) | more than 6 years ago | (#20176935)

And there go umpteen millions of dollars in technology. Not the most cost-effective way to wage a war.

Re:This will drive the Taliban crazy (4, Insightful)

jdigriz (676802) | more than 6 years ago | (#20177105)

Please, cars and computers are cheap. It's the development programs that are costly. We use million dollar cruise missiles to take out handfuls of islamist that could as easily be killed by a couple of dollars worth of bullets.

This will drive the cruise missile crazy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20177733)

Ummm, three things. One, a car can be remotely controlled a lot cheaper than what's being suggested here. Two it's not just any old islamists. It's KEY figures. Three a predator drone with a cruise missile can go were bullets can't. I.E. Pakistan.

Re:This will drive the Taliban crazy (2, Insightful)

Wingnut64 (446382) | more than 6 years ago | (#20177759)

I would also imagine it would be pretty demoralizing if people seeking glorious martyrdom only succeeded in killing robots.

Re:This will drive the Taliban crazy (1)

sveard (1076275) | more than 6 years ago | (#20177115)

I bet these autonomous vehicles perform really well in the mountains, yes...

Re:This will drive the Taliban crazy (1)

FleaPlus (6935) | more than 6 years ago | (#20177839)

I bet these autonomous vehicles perform really well in the mountains, yes...

I imagine they'd perform pretty well along supply routes, which is the application they're currently targeted towards.

Re:This will drive the Taliban crazy (1)

Animats (122034) | more than 6 years ago | (#20178267)

I bet these autonomous vehicles perform really well in the mountains, yes...

The 2005 Grand Challenge course had narrow roads cut out of the side of mountains, with no guard rails. The vehicles that finished all made it through there, even the huge military truck from Oskosh.

Re:This will drive the Taliban crazy (1)

FleaPlus (6935) | more than 6 years ago | (#20179887)

The 2005 Grand Challenge course had narrow roads cut out of the side of mountains, with no guard rails. The vehicles that finished all made it through there, even the huge military truck from Oskosh.

Yup, I was actually at the 2005 challenge, and remember that little mountain pass. I remember talking with people about how it was a really good thing that the mountain pass was near the end of the course, because otherwise some of the vehicles which had gotten knocked out earlier in the race probably would've ended up tumbling down it.

Re:This will drive the Taliban crazy (1)

Talennor (612270) | more than 6 years ago | (#20177959)

I bet these autonomous vehicles perform really well in the mountains
Yeah, I can tell you the Florida one isn't exactly designed for roads that change altitude more than a couple feet. Not that it would die, but it would have a host of problems. I'd imagine that the other teams are testing in parking lots, too. So UF wouldn't be the only one with problems in the mountains.

Re:This will drive the Taliban crazy (1)

644bd346996 (1012333) | more than 6 years ago | (#20178705)

[Ignoring the fact that the off-road contest has already come and gone...] Insight Racing is modifying a Lotus Elise. It's done pretty well so far on the track, and shouldn't have any trouble with tight mountain roads. Unfortunately, it doesn't have any cargo space. Oh well...

Re:This will drive the Taliban crazy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20177987)

Yes. You might want to research previous grand challenges before trying to be "insightful"

Re:This will drive the Taliban crazy (1)

gijoel (628142) | more than 6 years ago | (#20178881)

No, the Taliban ambushes the vehicle in order to kidnap the occupants. The car promptly turns into a freakin huge robot that proceeds to beat the tar out of them.

Re:This will drive the Taliban crazy (1)

peragrin (659227) | more than 6 years ago | (#20182909)

You have watched Transformers one to many times. We are no way that skilled. the best we can do is have Asivmo climb out of the car and shake their hands, while detonating a bomb inside his chest.

Re:This will drive the Taliban crazy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20179867)

Take a Hummer and today's software and put it into urban area... I don't think you have to wait for ten years to see a lot of people being killed...

Obeying California Laws? (5, Funny)

kithrup (778358) | more than 6 years ago | (#20176897)

How do they put a seatbelt on the computer?

Re:Obeying California Laws? (2, Funny)

jdigriz (676802) | more than 6 years ago | (#20177079)

It's easy, you thread the belt through the handle of the laptop case. I do it all the time. =)

Re:Obeying California Laws? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20177167)

Hey, yeah, I'm here to pick up the medical marijuana for my computer. Yeah, it's got glaucoma of the optical drive.

Re:Obeying California Laws? (0, Troll)

russ1337 (938915) | more than 6 years ago | (#20177891)

>> How do they put a seatbelt on the computer?

People wear seatbelts in California? Is that so they can talk on their phone?

Re:Obeying California Laws? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20180147)

i think the law says there needs to be a driver. but whose the cop gonna talk to anyway

Scoring? (4, Funny)

kclittle (625128) | more than 6 years ago | (#20176923)

"The team to successfully complete the mission with the fastest time wins."

Now, exactly how many points per pedestrian?

Re:Scoring? (2, Informative)

astrotek (132325) | more than 6 years ago | (#20177031)

they have to obey traffic laws so I think a pedestrian (hit and run) is 2 points

Some examples of one point violations:

        * A traffic conviction.
        * An at-fault accident.

Examples of two point violations:

        * Reckless driving or hit-and-run driving
        * Driving under the influence of alcohol/drugs
        * Hit-and-run driving
        * Driving while suspended or revoked
from: http://www.dmv.ca.gov/pubs/hdbk/pgs71thru76.htm [ca.gov]

Re:Scoring? (3, Funny)

Atragon (711454) | more than 6 years ago | (#20177269)

Most points wins, right?

Re:Scoring? (1)

RuBLed (995686) | more than 6 years ago | (#20178353)

Most combos...

Course Prep? (2, Interesting)

silentbozo (542534) | more than 6 years ago | (#20176937)

It'll be interesting to see what kind of modifications they make to the course, either to add signage and other course markings, or to degrade what already exists to make it more challenging. I was particularly interested in finding out that they'll be using the section of the base (now the Southern California Logistics Airport) that the Army's been using for MOUT (military operations in urban terrain) training.

If the competitors aren't careful, there might be some new wrecks to add to scenario training...

Re:Course Prep? (1)

Ironsides (739422) | more than 6 years ago | (#20178195)

There are going to be radio control stop commands issued by DARPA if two cars get too close. This should prevent two cars from colliding.

Re:Course Prep? (1)

RuBLed (995686) | more than 6 years ago | (#20178535)

That would be interesting. What would the cars do if they put a roadblock along the road? Would they hop over the pedestrian lane or something. What would they do if Team Oshkosh decided to do the blocking with their truck.... Anyway it just caught my eye that Team Oshkosh would be using a truck for this one.. hmmm...

Re:Course Prep? (1)

fshavlak (1140953) | more than 6 years ago | (#20187167)

Signage is not a part of the challenge. Road lines are. As far as the course conditions, that's anyone's guess. Weather conditions are just as dangerous to a team. My team (Team Berlin) had rain on our site visit, followed by sunshine. Our computer vision broke down almost entirely as the road lines were not visible to the computer through the reflected glare of the sun. I guess we still passed the test, though.

"obeying California traffic laws"? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20176983)

I for one welcome our never-stopping-when-making-a-right-turn overlords.

Oh, that's not the law? It sure seems like it. :)

Re:"obeying California traffic laws"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20177011)

Clearly a rolling stop is a stop, otherwise they would call it a rolling roll.

Re:"obeying California traffic laws"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20177101)

It's called a "California Stop".

Re:"obeying California traffic laws"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20177867)

Actually, it's called a *Hollywood Stop* nimrod. It also has nothing to do with right hand turns. It's simply slowing to a coast to see if there is cross traffic, and then continuing on your way if there is not.

Re:"obeying California traffic laws"? (1)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 6 years ago | (#20179069)

In Las Vegas one time, just off the strip, I was standing at a corner waiting to cross the street. About half a minute had gone by since the light for cross traffic had turned red (I couldn't go yet because of the green turn arrow), when I hear BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP as this low-rider hoopty just blows through their red light. Wasn't even a little bit orange, and I'm pretty sure they didn't bother slowing down.

Re:"obeying California traffic laws"? (1)

lessthan (977374) | more than 6 years ago | (#20179615)

Which makes a mind-blowing amount of sense!! If you can see a good distance and no one is coming, why stop? Goodness no, that would be a common sense alternative to blind obedience of the law. That would cause the sky to fall!

Fri\st stop! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20177189)

opini0n 1n other

Tether? (4, Funny)

jpellino (202698) | more than 6 years ago | (#20177477)

The guy in charge of uber-autonomous robots is named TETHER?

You can't make this stuff up.

Re:Tether? (1)

the_pooh_experience (596177) | more than 6 years ago | (#20181183)

Actually, Tony Tether is not just in charge of this challenge, he is in charge of DARPA (he is the director of DARPA).
He is known to be overly involved (everything that is funded through DARPA gets the direct blessing of him... i.e. he does not trust any of the program managers to fund without his involvement).

Re:Tether? (1)

RespekMyAthorati (798091) | more than 6 years ago | (#20197227)

Furthermore,

Dr. Tether noted, "The vehicles must perform as well as someone with a California Driver's License."
So does the challenge include drive-by shooting?

"Oh, yeah, except for that..." (1, Funny)

djupedal (584558) | more than 6 years ago | (#20177569)

"...obeying California traffic laws while..."

I'm working from memory here, so I could be wrong, but to the best of my recollection, Calif. Motor Vehicle Code stipulates that a motor vehicle is required to be under the control of an approved driver at all times.

Hell - break one, break 'em all :")

Re:"Oh, yeah, except for that..." (2, Funny)

Talennor (612270) | more than 6 years ago | (#20182481)

I remember when the California governor was in a movie where he was a robot driving around town. I think this means we'll be alright.

California Warzone (2, Funny)

ChristensenCT (1027408) | more than 6 years ago | (#20178091)

Interesting how DARPA connects a battlefield simulation to driving across California. I assume the test-track will the I-10.

I don't get it... (0)

E++99 (880734) | more than 6 years ago | (#20178115)

The had a race to see who could build a robot to navigate across the desert the fastest, and none of the entrants completed the course... so they say, "okay, now who can navigate through a city the fastest?" Doesn't seem to me like the right time to raise the bar.

Re:I don't get it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20178161)

You missed the following year desert repeat - multiple vehicles completed the course.

Re:I don't get it... (1)

Ironsides (739422) | more than 6 years ago | (#20178209)

The had a race to see who could build a robot to navigate across the desert the fastest, and none of the entrants completed the course... so they say, "okay, now who can navigate through a city the fastest?" Doesn't seem to me like the right time to raise the bar.

That was Grand Challenge I. The reheald it a year or two later and had several teams finish. Urban Challenge was only started after they had a successful Grand Challenge.

Re:I don't get it... (3, Informative)

iluvcapra (782887) | more than 6 years ago | (#20178677)

In the 2005 Darpa Grand Challenge [wikipedia.org] "Stanley [wikipedia.org] ", Stanford University's entry, a Volkswagen Touareg wagon, won, beating several other entrants that completed the course. The team was led by Sebastian Thune; Stanley was remarkable for having a relatively simple LIDAR/GPS sensor array, unlike many of the other entries, but had extremely sophisticated software and machine learning and high autonomy, whereas it's main competition, CMUs "H1ander", had extremely involved sensing and was programmed with an extremely detailed course route, but its complex directional LIDAR array failed early in the race, and though it could compensate, it completed the course slow.

Find the NOVA episode if you can, truly fascinating. I hate how NOVA ScienceNow is so attention-span limited.

Re:I don't get it... (3, Informative)

iluvcapra (782887) | more than 6 years ago | (#20178727)

Here's the NOVA. [pbs.org] And it's "Thrun", not Thune.

For use in Iraq? (1)

BlackSmithNZ (1064822) | more than 6 years ago | (#20178555)

I can imagine the first requirement of a US military invasion force, will be to impose California driving laws on the newly conquered country, thus enabling their array of robot trucks.

Thank god my right-hand driving country does not have vast oil reserves; driving on the wrong side of the road would be too freaky.

Re:For use in Iraq? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20180383)

Are you trolling? What makes you think Americans drive on the left?

Re:For use in Iraq? (1)

jeffeb3 (1036434) | more than 6 years ago | (#20183231)

right hand driving means the driver is on the right side of the car.

Stop signs (1)

Down_in_the_Park (721993) | more than 6 years ago | (#20180345)

Cool, if you want to halt an invasion you just have to place a stop sign at a strategic point. I love robotic vehicles that obey Cal. traffic laws...

Incentives (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20180703)

Those teams' vehicles will have to perform like cars with drivers to safely conduct a simulated battlefield supply mission on a 60-mile urban course, obeying California traffic laws while merging into traffic, navigating traffic circles and avoiding obstacles -- all in fewer than six hours. The team to successfully complete the mission with the fastest time wins.'"

As an extra incentive, the team that kills the fewest pedestrians and bicyclists wins a case of Coke.

And what if... (2, Insightful)

Enleth (947766) | more than 6 years ago | (#20185295)

...the Talibs put a "No entry" traffic sign on a supply route?

60 miles in less than 6 hours (1)

belunar (413142) | more than 6 years ago | (#20186449)

Ether they are taking traffic jams into account or they dont expect these robots to do more than 10-15mph.

So, what if they all come into the finish line with traffic violation tickets under their windshields for moving too slow? Would they then award it to the one with the fewest tickets? :)

Corse Im assuming that by 'following California traffic laws' that they would be required to have licence plates, not tailgate, travel the speed limit, etc. Wouldnt that also meen the robots would need valid drivers licences, insurance, and registration?
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