Robots on a Rocky Road

In a recent race, high-tech, robotic vehicles tried to drive themselves across a desert.

By Emily Sohn, 00:00 AM April 19, 2004

Here's the challenge. Design a vehicle that can travel 142 miles across the desert between Los Angeles and Las Vegas. Your invention will have to stop at a number of checkpoints along the way, and it'll be racing more than a dozen other vehicles.

Here's the catch. Once it leaves the starting line, your vehicle has to drive itself.

Welcome to a recent competition sponsored by the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). DARPA's Grand Challenge, held for the first time last mo...

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