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Robot car wins urban race

Just a few years after the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s first ever robot car race ended in a major flop (with all the cars in the 2004 event breaking down), 6 of the 11 finalists in this year’s robotic car challenge successfully navigated city streets complete with intersections, traffic circles and human-driven traffic.

The Carnegie Mellon University-based team earned $2 million (€1.4 million) when their car ‘Boss’ won the Pentagon-sponsored race, which took place over the weekend in the Southern California desert.

AP quotes the Urban Challenge programme manager Norman Whitaker: “They [Carnegie Mellon] did everything right: followed all the speed laws, stopped at the intersections… It was really a phenomenal performance.”

But the NY Times highlights the “crashes and traffic jams” that took place; “computer-controlled vehicles, at least to date, have failings that are all too human” they say.

There are pictures on the DARPA website, and video on Check out our last post on this subject for sites with blow-by-blow coverage.


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