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After the DARPA dust settled, only 40 minutes separated the first, second and third place contenders for this year's $2 million bounty. The Carnegie Mellon team, behind the virtual wheel of a tech'd-out Tahoe dubbed the "Boss," won the DARPA Urban Challenge, the first event held in a mock city environment.

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The 2007 DARPA Urban Challenge is mere weeks away, and the top tier teams are readying to do battle on a yet-to-be-disclosed course in Victorville, CA. The event will take place November 3rd at the former George Air Force Base, and we'll have our own celebrity blogger, John McElroy, on hand to take pics and report back. Though many teams are entered, a select few from major universities are considered serious contenders for the $2 million grand prize. They include last year's winner Stanford who

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The upcoming DARPA Urban Challenge set to take place this fall will be an extraordinary test of autonomous systems being developed for automotive applications. Previous DARPA challenges contained entrants with all sorts of hardcore, computer-powered gear littering their exteriors. Giant rotating satellite dishes and rows of rooftop-mounted infrared cameras were a common site. The same will likely be true of many vehicle's entered in this fall's Urban Challenge, but one team will be fielding this

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Remember William "Red" Whittaker? He is the ex-marine turned college prof that competed in both the 2004 and 2005 DARPA Grand Challenge with a pair of autonomous H1 HUMMERs named H1ghlander and Sandstorm. Unfortunately for Red, neither HUMMER was able to beat Stanley, the autonomous Volkswagen Touareg from Standard, in last year's challenge that actually saw competitors finish the course for the first time.

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