DARPA Urban Challenge - KITT, Put Up Or Shut Up

DARPA has announced that its third Grand Challenge Competition will take place this fall. On November 3rd, autonomous ground vehicles will take to a mocked-up urban area to negotiate a 60-mile course.

Vehicles must complete the course in fewer than six hours. There is real money on the line: first prize is $2,000,000.

This is no ramble through the lonesome desert, either. Vehicles must autonomously obey traffic laws, they must be able to merge into moving traffic, make it through intersections and (obviously) avoid killing anyone.

Science fiction fans (as well as car buffs) will of course remember KITT, the smart and somewhat finicky black Pontiac Trans Am from the television series Knight Rider. KITT is shown below with durable star David Hasselhoff (as Michael Knight), who is better known to younger readers for his cameo on the Spongebob Squarepants movie. KITT stands for Knight Industries Two Thousand.


(KITT and his friend Michael)

In the series, KITT is able to drive in a completely autonomous mode regardless of setting, urban or country. KITT's driving was excellent; KITT sometimes chafed at Michaels inexpert and frankly dangerous driving style. His front-mounted scan bar (which made a really cool "whooshing" sound as the lights went back and forth) enabled KITT to see what was in front of the car.

If any of the DARPA organizers are Knight Rider fans, the next thing they will ask for is the special molecular bonded shell coating, which effectively rendered KITT invulnerable to bullets and most explosions.

KITT fans might want to see how they could pimp their own ride using a mac mini to provide voice control and other features. Sadly, by the time molecular bonded coatings come out, the phrase "pimp" your ride will not only be even older than it is now, but unrecognizable.

Read more at the DARPA Third Grand Challenge announcement

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 5/2/2006)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 3 )

Related News Stories - (" Vehicle ")

Elon Musk Seeks To Create 1941 Heinlein Speedster
'The car surged and lifted, clearing its top by a negligible margin.' - Robert Heinlein, 1941.

Have I Seen The Tesla Roadster Story Before?
'Only it wasn't a vessel. It was an automobile...' - Theodore Sturgeon, 1941.

Self-Driving Car Ticketed
This just missed making my day.

Loomo Mini Transporter Robot Companion You Ride On
'Slowly the [robot] horse raised its head, wiggled its ears, blinked twice, gave a tentative whinny.' - Christopher Stasheff, 1969.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

Las Vegas Humans Ready To Strike Over Robots
'A worker replaced by a nubot... had to be compensated.'

You'll Regrow That Limb, One Day
'... forcing the energy transfer which allowed him to regrow his lost fingers.'

Elon Musk Seeks To Create 1941 Heinlein Speedster
'The car surged and lifted, clearing its top by a negligible margin.'

Somnox Sleep Robot - Your Sleepytime Cuddlebot
Science fiction authors are serious about sleep, too.

Real-Life Macau or Ghost In The Shell
Art imitates life imitates art.

Has Climate Change Already Been Solved By Aliens?
'I had explained," said Nessus, "that our civilisation was dying in its own waste heat.'

First 3D Printed Human Corneas From Stem Cells
Just what we need! Lots of spare parts.

VirtualHome: Teaching Robots To Do Chores Around The House
'Just what did I want Flexible Frank to do? - any work a human being does around a house.'

Messaging Extraterrestrial Intelligence (METI) Workshop
SF writers have thought about this since the 19th century.

Nanorobots Roam Your Bloodstream, Cleaning It
Too bad they won't have lasers, though...

Galini 3D Printed Sleeping Pod Tiny Houses
'The houses are prefabricated units...'

MIT Boffins Create Psychopath AI On Purpose
There's a lesson in this for neural net AI engineers everywhere.

Skin Electronics 3D Printed
'June's body is a tracery of lambent lines, like some arcane capillary circuitry...'

Artificial Sensory Neurons For Prosthetics, Robots
Great for humans and robots!

China Uses Artificial Intelligence To Grade Student Papers
Looks like the City Fathers are starting to take over China's education system.

Electronic Tongues Will Rule The Kitchen
'Install taste buds in the end of one tentacle...'

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.