MIT team places fourth in robocar race
MIT said today that its self-piloting robocar placed fourth in a weekend competition designed to encourage the development of vehicles that can operate autonomously on battlefields without putting humans in harm's way.
The event in California is known as the DARPA Challenge, after its sponsor, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.
First prize went to a vehicle designed by Carnegie Mellon University, and second and third prizes went, respectively, to vehicles designed by teams from Stanford University and Virginia Tech, the news office of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology said.
Led by John Leonard, a professor mechanical and ocean engineering, the MIT team transformed a Land Rover LR3 into a self-piloting robocar; the team also included MIT professors Jon How and Seth Teller as well as David Barrett, an associate professor at Olin College.
MIT's robocar uses multiple laser range scanners, high-rate video cameras, and automotive radar units to perform autonomous planning and motion control, MIT said.
MIT noted that this was its debut in the DARPA Challenge and that three dozen vehicles participated in DARPA Challenge semi-finals events.
(By Chris Reidy, Globe staff)