Tuesday, October 09, 2007

DARPA Urban Challenge Approaching

Yes, October is a big month for several innovation competitions. The DARPA Urban Challenge has the following events soon:

October 24-25: Teams Arrive
October 26-31: National Qualification Event
November 3: Urban Challenge Final Event

It's all at Victorville, CA. Here's the full schedule, and here are details like directions and what's happening at the events for spectators.

The event guidelines with a number of updates were also recently posted. DARPA isn't forgetting important aspects of prize competitions, such as giving an area for team sponsors, and setting aside time for a "military robotics session" that lets the teams show their technologies to "user communities, acquisition agents, and other Government organizations tracking progress in the field".

This should be interesting to those who can't make it to the event. DARPA plans to "produce a live video webcast of the UCE at a site linked to www.darpa.mil/grandchallenge. This site will also have tracking maps and a progress board to monitor each autonomous vehicle. A 3-D option may be available after the event that will allow individual vehicles to be tracked and viewed in a rendered landscape. A generic representation will be provided for each vehicle, or teams may optionally submit more realistic models including sponsor names and team name".