View Full Version : Self-driving prototype masters town traffic situations under competitive conditions

11-08-2007, 07:18 PM
The participants for the Urban Challenge have been named. All participating vehicles were tested by the DARPA* in the so-called "Site Visit" on 14 June 2007. "Junior", a Passat Estate made by Volkswagen, has now been officially nominated for the next stage. This will take place on 26-31 October 2007 and the final will be in 3 November 2007 in Victorville, California near Los Angeles.
The Passat, which was built by Volkswagen Group Research and its ERL (Electronics Research Laboratory) in California, was made in cooperation with Stanford University (USA). Vehicles have to travel, without a driver, over a distance of approximately 60 miles in an urban environment.
Keeping to all applicable traffic regulations, the vehicles have to drive in normal traffic, follow the rules for the right of way, cross over busy intersections and negotiate roundabouts. The winner is the team whose vehicle completes this task first.
Volkswagen's team already demonstrated its skill when "Stanley", a Volkswagen Touareg TDI, won the first race for self-driven vehicles at the last DARPA Grand Challenge in October 2005. The course for that race went through 132 miles of the Mojave Desert to the south of Las Vegas. Stanley functioned absolutely perfectly and won the race after six hours and 54 minutes.
*DARPA (Defence Advance Research Projects Agency) is an agency of the USA's ministry of defence.