DARPA Urban Challenge – Junior Pit Crew Videos

You may have seen the blogs this week from Scott Ettinger, Intel Research Scientist helping Stanford’s team, giving you the play-by-play during the qualifiers. You’ll hear from him again tomorrow – watch out for it, because the event today was quite exciting. Junior did fantastic – was the first to cross the finish line! The official winner will be announced tomorrow morning in Victorville by the DARPA Grand Challenge race officials.

I was able to hang out with the Pit Crew earlier this week while they were preparing for the race – watch these videos to hear from Sebastian Thrun and the other pit crew members.

Sebastian, Scott and some other members of the crew showed off the incredibly smart software that enables Junior to analyze all the sensor data, in an incredibly efficient way. The software was written custom by the team and is a true example of parallel programming. Because of this, the car has just 2 Intel Core 2 Quad processors on desktop boards you could buy today at your local retail shop. It’s running at HALF the power and DOUBLE the performance of our previous car (stanley) 2 years ago. This is parallelism and multi-core at it’s very best…it is the reason it’s possible to deal with massive amounts of data in real time. Junior can quickly compute large amounts of sensor data it gathers constantly to make complex perception decisions like merging, passing and lane changes (on a computer just like the one you have at home!) Check out the videos of the team describing this experience below:

Deciding What to Do with a Construction Road Block

Recognizing Lane Markers and Changing Lanes

4-way Stops and Recognizing Motion

Thoughts From Sebastian: Day Before the Race

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