Innovations from a Robot Rally: Overview/The Grand Challenge 2005
Five out of 23 competing robots successfully navigated a 132-mile course through the Mojave Desert in October 2005 as part of the DARPA Grand Challenge race. To qualify for the $2-million prize, the driverless vehicles had to finish in less than 10 hours. Four turned in elapsed times under 7.5 hours.
The competition inspired numerous technical innovations that enable computer-controlled vehicles to move quickly over rough and unfamiliar terrain. The robotic entrants demonstrated advances in location tracking, road and obstacle perception, and high-speed path planning.
These technologies may appear in future military, agricultural, industrial and even consumer vehicles. Some are already being commercialized.