Self-driving Tahoe equipped with radar, 25 lasers
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is an agency of the U.S. Department of Defense that’s responsible for the development of new technology for use by the military.
Its latest project is to encourage the development of vehicles that will drive themselves, autonomously.
“Boss,” a Chevrolet Tahoe, is a robotic vehicle that is equipped with 25 lasers, cameras and radars to view the world — sensing objects such as buildings, pedestrians and cars. It also sees features like lane markings, curbs and sidewalks.
Its planning software generates routes through road networks.
The “Boss” Tahoe will be put to the test during The Urban Challenge, a 96.5-km (60-mile) race across a city or suburban environment where a number of robots will be interacting with traffic and other vehicles. While much of the development of these vehicles will have a profound effect on the safety of combat troops, consumers and businesses will also gain.
Autonomous-drive vehicles could some day play a role in mining, farming and other potentially dangerous tasks, as well.