Every week, in garages around the world, amateur racers spend their hard-earned day-job dollars repairing and improving all sorts of racecars, with one goal in mind - winning a tacky plastic trophy on the weekend. Now the U.S. government has honored that hallowed tradition, announcing that the robot drivers in the upcoming 2007 DARPA Grand Challenge will forgo the $2 million cash prize previously promised to the winner, in exchange for - a trophy! (Probably a mil-spec trophy that they'll pay too much for, but still.)

Actually, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency isn't trying to save money (taxpayers should be so lucky). Congress recently changed the rules for the Department of Defense, and it no longer has the authority to award cash prizes.

Robot fans needn't be too concerned about a lack of entries for next year's event - the eleven "Track A" teams selected this month for the 2007 Urban Challenge will each receive from DARPA up to $1 million in technology development funding, in addition to the support of their corporate sponsors. The A-teams include last year's winner Stanford University and perennial contenders Carnegie-Mellon University, as well as big-time defense contractors Raytheon and Honeywell.

"Track B" teams, which receive no funding from DARPA, can still earn their way into the final competition for the DARPA mugs by successfully completing qualifying events. The Urban Challenge final event requires competitors to safely complete a 60-mile simulated urban area course (in traffic) in under six hours.

[via engadget]

I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.

    • 1 Second Ago
  • 2015 Toyota Highlander
    MSRP: $29,765 - $44,140
    2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee
    MSRP: $29,995 - $64,895
    2015 Honda Accord
    MSRP: $22,105 - $33,630
    2015 Honda Civic
    MSRP: $18,290 - $26,740
    2015 Mazda Mazda3
    MSRP: $16,945 - $25,545
    Share This Photo X