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DARPA Urban Challenge

darpa_urban.jpg When you have enough money to fund robotic lobsters, you might as well create a simulated city for robots to destroy. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has announced that its next Grand Challenge competition will take place in a simulated urban environment. Previous DARPA Grand Challenges required participants to create autonomous ground vehicles that would navigate difficult desert routes. This next competition, scheduled to take place on November 3, 2007, moves the challenge into a "mock urban area" where vehicles must obey strict traffic laws while "merging into moving traffic, navigating traffic circles, negotiating busy intersections and avoiding obstacles." How many simulated pedestrians must perish before greedy DARPA has its fill? Only time will tell.

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