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2005-06-30

[Farvernügen] Mah Truck's Smarter Than Ah Am

OK. This is The Future, right? The Twenty-First Century? Where's my Smart Car?

Ever since I read about Gay Deceiver (see model pix) in The Number of the Beast, ah done wanted me a Smart Truck. The SkyCar is optional; all I want to do is to drop my briefcase in the back seat, stick my thumb into the print reader and my eyeball up to the iris scanner, and tell it I'm going to work. Then I sit back, and let it do the driving for me,

Stanley the robot ('autonomous') SUV is getting closer to that highly desirable goal.

Stanley's a pretty-close-to-stock, street-legal (a first for robototrucks) VW Touareg with a miserly and eco-friendly turbo-diesel, in keeping with for VW's legendary fuel economy (and, yes, it will run on bio-diesel ; would you like fries with your ride?)

It will be entered in DARPA's second Grand Challenge for robot vehicles. Last year's event was comic, with the best vehicle only going eight miles of the 300 mile course before failure, but this year, the Stanford team is far more optimistic.