"Just months after awarding $2 million for a sport utility vehicle that drove itself over more than 100 miles of open road, the Pentagon on Monday http://www.darpa.mil/grandchallenge/docs/urb_challenge_announce.pdf">unveiled a bigger, richer challenge for self-driving vehicles that can negotiate city traffic," MSNBC's Alan Boyle reports.
This time around, [DARPA Grand Challenge] autonomous vehicles would run a simulated military supply mission in a mock urban area. To succeed, the vehicles would have to complete a 60-mile course safely in less than six hours, obeying traffic laws and avoiding obstacles while they merge with moving traffic, negotiate intersections and even pull into and back out of parking spaces...The top prize would be $2 million once again, but DARPA would also offer a second prize of $500,000 and a third prize of $250,000. DARPA also will make funding available for contenders before the finals, through two tracks:* Teams could submit detailed proposals for up to $1 million in technology development funds, with the government obtaining limited licensing rights to the resulting technologies. The selected teams would proceed to a semifinal known as the National Qualification Event.* Teams could participate in a series of qualifying tests, just as competitors did in the 2004 and 2005 DARPA Grand Challenges. The teams selected for the National Qualification Event would get $50,000, and the teams that are successful at that event will get $100,000 and a spot in the November 2007 finals.