Click above for high-res gallery of the DARPA Urban Grand Challenge
It was the GM-powered Carnegie Mellon team that took first prize at the DARPA Urban Grand Challenge last year. Now the team will be sending its entrant, nicknamed "Boss," to the 2008 Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach on the weekend of April 19 - 20. There, in front of cheering race fans, the autonomous vehicle will strut its stuff on the track and at speed against competitors "Junior" from Stanford, and "Ben" from the University of Pennsylvania and Lehigh University.
It's a demonstration, not a race, so don't expect these vehicles to put up a fight against the ultra-fast Champ Cars (no worries - they won't be sharing the track at the same time). In all honesty, with running speeds estimated at about 15 mph, these four-wheelers will err on the slow side of caution if given the chance. Nobody can predict, however, how well the driverless vehicles will complete the 1.97-mile Grand Prix course, but we're willing to bet that the DARPA entrants hit fewer walls than the "stars" participating in Saturday's Celebrity Race.