On Saturday, Stanford Universitys robot vehicle "Stanley" won the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agencys Grand Challenge in the Mojave Desert, taking home a $2 million first prize. Entrants into the race had to navigate a 131.6 course across the Mojave Desert in California autonomously. Stanley finished the course in six hours, 54 minutes, roughly 11 minutes ahead of one of Carnegie Mellons entries.
All entries that finished the race made history, however, as none of last years entries made it more than eight miles before breaking down. In its second year, DARPAs Grand Challenge is a step towards automated combat vehicles which could one day fight conflicts without human soldiers in harms way. The US military hopes to have 30 percent of its vehicles automated by 2015.
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