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November 01, 2007

Track Logging Before the Race

After Tony Tether's announcement about 11 teams being accepted to the final competition today, it was also announced that the finalists would be allowed to run their vehicles through the final test course for two hours to log data before the competition.

Up until now, the course has been guarded 24 hours a day by military personnel to prevent anyone from obtaining prior information about the track. The teams aren't allowed to log GPS, but they can log vision. Some teams rely heavily on vision, so this is a huge boost to some and erodes the benefit of having robust vision algorithms for others. I believe that this is an arbitrary last-minute decision by DARPA that is against the spirit of the competition. I realize that it is important for DARPA to show that the teams they have sponsored can perform well, but I think it's also important to keep the competition transparent and rigorous to not degrade its prestige and credibility.

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Posted by: Bradley Farnsworth November 1, 2007 08:04 PM | Category:

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Comments

Tell us who win the race!

Posted by Andreea on November 1, 2007 11:14 PM

Brad, once again we say thank you for sharing information and insights from the UC. Your sharing is very much appreciated. And, once again, our Congratulations to Team Case and Dexter.You make us all proud. BRAVO!

Posted by Meredith and Oliver on November 2, 2007 03:52 AM

Brad, there's a Wired blog article that hit Slashdot this morning about the whittling down to 11 entrants instead of 20-ish. The article says that Tony Tether said that the remaining entrants were declined due to safety concerns.

http://blog.wired.com/defense/2007/11/finalists-named.html

Is this actually what Tony said about why so many entrants were eliminated, and if so, what was his safety problem with Dexter? Otherwise, you might consider trying to set the record straight on this.

Posted by Barry on November 2, 2007 05:56 AM

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Posted by: bdf (Bradley Farnsworth) November 1, 2007 08:04 PM | Comments (3)