Driving under the influence of computers

 The DARPA autonomous vehicle competion is on today in California.   It’s sponsored by the US military’s advanced technology division and seeks to create vehicles that can navigate without human intervention.  

The stakes are high in this competition where the top vehicles will take home millions in prize money – presumably for their university research.

These vehicles would be remarkable enough if they simply roamed through the desert as in past competitions, but this year the DARPA challenge is taking place in an urban environment, where fifty regular cars with human drivers will be zigging and zagging and presenting the autonomous vehicles with the advanced challenges of driving in a city.

Ashlee at The Register is liveblogging the event, though she seems pretty grumpy from the lack of coffee.   C’mon Ashlee, the military only has a $500,000,000,000 budget – and you want free coffee?

An autonomous ground vehicle is a vehicle that navigates and drives entirely on its own with no human driver and no remote control. Through the use of various sensors and positioning systems, the vehicle determines all the characteristics of its environment required to enable it to carry out the task it has been assigned

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