If at first you don't succeed...
By 11 AM Pacific Standard Time, all 15 vehicles competing in the DARPA Grand Challenge had been disqualified for one reason or another. According to the unofficial results, Carnegie Mellon's Sandstorm and SciAutonics' Avidor-2004 traveled the farthest distance (7 miles). Team DAD covered 6 miles and the last team in the running, The Golem Group, made it 5 miles before its quest was terminated. Caltech's Bob, SciAutonics' Rascal, and Ohio State's TerraMax lasted approximately one mile.
Autonomous navigation is a difficult thing. These intrepid adventurers put their best efforts forward and undoubtedly are currently planning how they will modify things for next year.
Stay tuned... the adventure has just begun. The million dollar prize is still available. According to the official rules, "subsequent Challenges will be held until the Prize is awarded or until Congressional authority for the Prize expires. The current Congressional authorization expires on September 30, 2007."
The event in 2005 will permit the entry of new teams in addition to teams that participated in the first Grand Challenge. Who will we see next year?
Congratulations to all the teams who participated, especially to the fifteen who qualified for the 2004 Grand Challenge. They attempted something that had never been done before and paved the way for those who will attempt it next.
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