Stanford team's robotic car wins $1 million

Stanford University announced Monday that the Stanford Racing Team’s robotic car Junior won $1 million over the weekend after finishing second in the DARPA Urban Challenge.

Junior, a modified Volkswagen Passat, successfully made an approximately 60-mile journey through simulated traffic with no human help.

“It is a historic event. It is the first time it has ever happened,” racing team co-leader Sebastian Thrun said.

The challenge, held at a former Air Force base in Victorville, was sponsored by the Department of Defense’s Advanced Research Projects Agency. Its goal was to demonstrate that robots could make decisions about routes and maneuvers, follow traffic laws and perceive and understand the driving environment.

Thrun, a professor of computer science and electrical engineering at Stanford, said the research that went into creating Junior could someday be used to make automotive transportation safer, either by assisting human drivers or perhaps giving them the option of giving up the wheel entirely when they don’t want to drive or shouldn’t drive.

“Junior looked competent, elegant and agile, but not too fast, not reckless. That’s the theme we have on our team, which is that speed is not everything. It’s really about safety,’’ Thrun said.

The winning team was from Carnegie Mellon University.

— Bay City News

businessLocalScience & TechnologyScience and Technology

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Fiona Hinze (Courtesy Fiona Hinze)
Advocate for people with disabilities nominated to SFMTA Board

Mayor Breed says Fiona Hinze brings ‘important perspective’ to agency leadership

CCSF file photo
Workforce development fund to support training programs at City College

Supervisors back plans to use $500K toward economic recovery efforts through CCSF

Lakeshore Elementary School was closed in March shortly before SFUSD closed all schools due to coronavirus concerns. The district is now working to prepare all elementary schools to reopen by mid-January.<ins> (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)</ins>
School district preparing buildings for hybrid learning

SFUSD plans to use 72 elementary schools and 12 early education sites for first phase of reopening

The installation “Alexandre Singh: A Gothic Tale” is on view at the Legion of Honor, which reopens Oct. 30 with safety protocols in place. (Courtesy Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco)
Legion of Honor reopens in time for Halloween

‘A Gothic Tale’ among exhibitions on view

There have been at least 142 confirmed cases of COVID-19 among workers at San Francisco International Airport. <ins>(Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)</ins>
Supes back SFO worker healthcare legislation despite airline, business opposition

Costs of ‘Health Airport Ordinance’ in dispute, with estimates ranging from $8.4 M to $163 M annually

Most Read