Nov. 8 (1:30 p.m.): An analysis of the race logs reveals that Junior drove 55.96 miles in three missions. Its maximum speed was 30.33mph, which it reached briefly on Phantom East Road. The robot was in run mode for 4 hours, 5 minutes, and 6 seconds. Junior was paused 11 times for a total duration of 1 hour, 17 minutes and 56 seconds (none of these pauses were requested by Stanford). While in run mode, Junior's average speed was 13.7mph.
Nov. 5 (10:06 a.m.): Junior won second place, $1 million, and a giant eagle statue at a DARPA medal ceremony yesterday. Apparenlty Carnegie Mellon's winning entry, Boss, was able to drive skilfully but also about a mile an hour faster on average. The Stanford Racing Team is proud not only of its own accomplishment, but also that of all the teams who finished the race. We have collectively and individually shown that robots can be made intelligent enough to drive in traffiic. Much more research and development is needed, but the progress has clearly been astounding.
Nov. 3 (5:19 p.m.): Junior did very well in the race today. It was not the first car to leave the starting chute but it was the first to cross the finish line. The robot handled most of the traffic situations it encountered during its three missions (and many submissions) with apparent finesse and confidence. After less than six hours (including many official pauses) Junior returned without a new scratch (it had a few before the race). Final results, which are based not on order of finish, but on official time and other measures of driving "skill" will be announced tomorrow by DARPA. The Stanford Racing Team congratulates the other five teams who finished all their missions, the finalists who made it to today's race, and all the participants who share the dream of autonomous driving.
Oct. 31 (8:12 a.m.): It's now official: Junior qualified for the race. For qualifying, Junior only had to redo a single NQE Test: the traffic merging test in Area A. In the early afternoon of October 30, Junior performed 3 flawless loops in test Area A in just over 3 minutes, at which point Dr. Tether, Director of DARPA, called the test a success. Go Junior!
Oct. 29: The Stanford Racing Team has finished the first three testing events in the Urban Challenge Qualifications. Overall, we are extremely pleased with Junior's performance. All three tests were challenging, and in every event Junior made a mistake. But it successfully finished all of them, and never jeopardized its own safety or that of others.
In the first event (Area C), Junior was asked to drive through a small
street network, repeatedly crossing intersections with stop signs in
all directions. To test Junior's ability to correctly handle
intersections, DARPA used other vehicles to whom Junior had to
yield. Junior mastered these exercises well. It yielded when
necessary, and quickly moved on in the presence of vehicles that
arrived at intersections later than itself. DARPA also placed
roadblocks, forcing Junior into U-turns. For one of those roadblocks,
Junior failed to reach a check point. After trying to reach it for three
consecutive times, Junior "gave up" and proceeded to finish the
remainder of the mission.
In the second event (Area A), Junior was asked to repeatedly merge
left into and out of traffic in a traffic circle. Junior did well,
though not without problems. Its merges into traffic were flawless,
yet when executing left turns into an empty road, it sometimes waited
much longer than permissible by the rules. We later learned that this
was caused by an unlikely software bug. Because of this problem,
Junior failed to pass this test.
The third event (Area B) involved a large area with many obstacles,
partial road blocks, and even a parking spot. Junior managed these
obstacles flawlessly and in reputable time.The only problem Junior
encountered was that it mistook a partial road blockage for a full
blockage. As a result, it turned around, took a detour, and tried
again. The second time it got it right, and proceeded as planned. This
maneuver cost Junior a few minutes, yet the robot still completed its
Oct. 29 (3:34 p.m.): Team member Scott Ettinger of Intel has been blogging about the event and Junior's performance.
Oct. 26 (9:21 a.m.): Team member Jan Becker of Bosch has posted some great photos from the scene in Victoville.
Oct. 24 (4:35 p.m.): The team and Junior are in Victorville.