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Autonomous vehicle development: No accident

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1 Author(s)

The Insight Racing team in Cary, North Carolina, began turning a bright-blue Lotus Elise into a driverless vehicle that could compete in a robotic car race. The mission of DARPApsilas ldquoGrand Challengerdquo, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, part of the U.S. Department of Defense, is to develop technology with military applications. When, in 2001, Congress mandated that at least a third of all military vehicles be autonomous by 2015, the agency responded with a series of races, all with million-dollar prizes and open to anyone who could build a driverless robotic car. AnnieWay's car, silver VW Passat, was equipped with LIDAR (light detection and ranging) sensors that can find obstacles around the car, look for curbs and depressions in the road, and detect whether the vehicle is going uphill or downhill. The AnnieWay robotic car made it to the finals of the Urban Challenge where it competed for US$3.5 million in cash prizes. The AnnieWay's Passat was custom made so that it could switch between manual and autonomous driving.

Published in:

Women in Engineering Magazine, IEEE  (Volume:2 ,  Issue: 1 )