CMU Tartan Racing Wins DARPA Urban Challenge

Carnegie Mellon University's autonomous SUV named Boss successfully completed the 60 mile DARPA Urban Challenge over the weekend, winning 2 million for the university. Stanford came in second and Virginia Tech third. Unfortunately, Georgia Tech's own Porsche Cayenne named Sting 1 did not complete the challenge after having several problems including an accident involving a barrier.

Thanks to General Motors, I had the chance to check out and get a ride in the Tartan Racing SUV at Carnegie Mellon in Pittsburgh over the summer. If you're interested in reading about the technology behind Boss, including the 10 Core 2 Duo computer blades and various sensors, definitely read that article. Completing the DARPA Urban Challenge is no small feat. Many teams have been developing their platforms for years and even then only 6 of the 11 vehicles saw the finish line.

The point of DARPA's Urban Challenge is to develop technology that can be used in military and consumer vehicle applications in the near future. Maybe you'll see a car with some sort of auto-pilot mode when you're out car shopping in 2015.