City City Bang Bang

At 10:45 a.m. PST on Thursday 9 August, DARPA director Tony Tether will announce the semi-finalists and location for the DARPA Urban Challenge, an autonomous vehicles competition in which cars controlled solely by on-board computers will race each other through an urban environment with moving traffic and obstacles. The Urban Challenge takes place on November 3 of this year in an as-yet undisclosed location with as-yet unidentified participants. To watch the announcement, go to the live webcast.

The grand prize for autonomous navigation of the 60-mile course in under six hours is $2 million. John Voelcker has written about the previous DARPA Grand Challenges for Spectrum and will be covering the Urban Challenge this fall.

Tether said that while DARPA has all the drivers they need to simulate a clogged downtown environment, theyâ''re still looking for volunteers to be pedestrians. (I think he was kidding?)

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