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This paper presents the design issues that were considered for the equipment of 4 identical autonomous vehicles that will drive themselves without human intervention on an intercontinental route for more than 13,000 km. Autonomous vehicles have been demonstrated able to reach the end of a 220 miles off-road trail (in the DARPA Grand Challenge), to negotiate traffic and obey traffic rules (in the DARPA Urban Challenge), but no one ever tested their capabilities on a long, intercontinental trip and stressed their systems for 3 months in a row. This paper presents the technological challenge of a set of vehicles that will run the VisLab Intercontinental Autonomous Challenge (VIAC). The challenge is scheduled to take place during the 2010 World Expo in Shanghai, China (and precisely from July 10, 2010 to Oct 10, 2010). Being currently under preparation, this paper focuses on the development, the vehicles' technical details, and the challenge itself. Other following papers will describe the outcome of the challenge and its results.