Carnegie Mellon Wins $2M in Robot Car Race

Only three of 11 cars finished the 60 miles in 6 hours allotted
By Colleen Barry,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 4, 2007 11:02 PM CST
Carnegie Mellon Wins $2M in Robot Car Race
Decal workers put stickers on a VW Passat called Junior, the Stanford University team's self-driving car entered into the 2007 DARPA Urban Challenge, at a decal shop in Redwood City, Calif., Monday, Oct. 22, 2007.   (Associated Press)

(Newser) – A robot car built by Carnegie Mellon University and General Motors beat out ten others to win a race for self-driving vehicles, race officials announced today. The cars had 6 hours to complete a 60-mile course—including missions like parking and merging into traffic—in pursuit of a $2 million grand prize. Second-place finisher Standford University won $1 million and third-place Virginia Tech took home $500,000.

Cars in the DARPA Urban Challenge use software to process information gleaned from sensors and GPS units to navigate without any human input. The race is run by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency as part of a plan to develop autonomously controlled ground combat vehicles. This is the first year it's taken place in an urban setting, rather than off-road desert courses. (Read more DARPA stories.)

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