The sun was only on the horizon on March 13, 2004, but the bar slash X salon, in the middle of the Mojave desert, was crowded with people.
The bar is located on the outskirts of Barstow, the city of California between Los Angeles and Las Vegas. This is a place where cowboys and viewers visit, but this summer has attracted others.
Improved improvised stadium of engineers, enthusiastic spectators and daredevil gas stations all similar to the same dream: being the first in the world to see cars without a winning car.
The tender is governed by the USS Advanced Defense Projects Agency, or DARPA (referred to as the “divisions of science” in the Pentagon).
The agency was interested in a vehicle without a body for some time, and for good reason: bombs and roadside bombs targeted at military vehicles were the main cause of death on the battlefield. Earlier this year, DARPA announced its goal of making a third of US autonomous land-based autonomous vehicles by 2015.
Until now, progress has been slow and expensive. DARPA spent about half a billion dollars over two decades to sell research at universities and companies with the hope of receiving ambitions. But then a good idea is: do not make the competition?
The agency will invite anyone in the country to design a car without a driver and can gather in the other trips, with a prize of $ 1 million for the winner. It will be a quick and cheap way to give DARPA the advantage of pursuit of goals.
In the morning
about 132 miles, the race car on Slash X, along with some spectators. Things do not work as a plan. A car is separate in the first and should be pulled. A stop motorbike has just been reflexed before searching for his wife and is announced out of the race.
The car had a concrete wall of 50 meters. Others are stuck in a barbed wire fence. The scene around the saloon bar starts to look like a robotic grave.
The highest scoring vehicle, Carnegie Mellon University entry, was handled with a precision of 7 miles before the erupting of the hill – where tires began to play and, without the help of a human, they continued to play to attack. The day is over. A DARPA organizer got into a helicopter and flew to the finish line to inform waitresses who waited for no car to get away.
The race is greasy, dust, mute and damaged and completed without a winner. All of these groups have been working one year in an endearing, superb, few minutes.
But the competition is nothing but a disaster. The competition has caused a new idea, and at Challenger Grand DARPA in 2005, the technology has improved. Five beautiful car without a car finish in a race without human intervention.
Now, more than ten years later, it is widely accepted that the future of transportation is no driver. By the end of 2017, Philip Hammond, the UK Chancellor of the Exchequer, announced the intention of the government to have a car without a car – without a security guard on the.
UK roads in 2021. Daimler, a German-based car company, h.as been pushing cars without guides in 2020, and Ford in 2021. Other manufacturers have made the same predictions for vehicles without driver.
On the surface, building a car without a car looks like it’s easy. Most humans can overcome the skills they need to drive. Furthermore, there are only two conditions: speed and direction. It’s a question of how much gas it can take and how to turn the wheel. How tough?
However, as the first major DARPA challenges are represented, autonomous vehicle construction is more complicated than it appears. It’s quick to complicate when you try to get an algorithm to check for a large metal that travels at 60 mph.
Beyond the rules on the road
Imagine having two vehicles approaching speed, traveling in different directions in a slightly curved provincial route.
A human pilot would be as good as possible in such a scenario, knowing that the other car would stay on track and would easily pass a few yards to the side. “But the longest time, it will be a little bit,” explained Pau