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Sensing, Navigation and Reasoning Technologies for the DARPA Urban Challenge

By Mohamed Aly, Joel W. Burdick, Vanessa Carson, Stefano Di Cairano, Laura Lindzey, Jeremy Ma, Richard M. Murray, Richard Petras, Sam Pfister, Dominic Rizzo and Tichakorn Wongpiromsarn


of Defense. DARPA does not guarantee the accuracy or reliability of the information in this paper. Executive Summary This paper describes Team Caltech’s technical approach and current progress towards developing new technologies to enable it to compete in and win the 2007 DARPA Urban Challenge. Our primary technical thrusts are are three areas: (1) mission and contingency management for autonomous systems; (2) distributed sensor fusion, mapping and situational awareness; and (3) optimization-based guidance, navigation and control. Preliminary work in each of these areas, combined with a systematic approach to overall systems engineering and field testing, has demonstrated the ability for our system to navigate in traffic situations consistent with the DARPA Technical Criteria. The development of an optimization-based, dynamic planner has proceeded more slowly than expected and has held back our progress in accomplishing basic traffic and advanced navigation tasks. System level tests have been used to identify additional areas for continued work over the remaining 203 days until the competition.

Year: 2007
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