In November 2007, driverless cars will be competing in the Darpa Urban Challenge in an American city. 3 of the 89 teams registered are still in the race following pre-selection and will now undergo inspection within the framework of so-called site visits by race management. To facilitate exact detection of their environments, the vehicles require intelligent eyes. As many as 13 teams rely on the specific automotive laser sensors from high-tech company Ibeo. These include the last Challenge winner “Stanley” from Stanford University and Team Oskosh which already successfully deployed Ibeo sensors at the Darpa Challenge 2005. Another 15 vehicles are equipped with industrial laser technology from its mother company, SICK AG.
Both laser technology companies have also joined forces to enter a vehicle in the Urban Challenge. Team-LUX will be starting with a standard series vehicle called “LUX” which uses three prototype sensors featuring the latest generation automotive laser scanner technology from Ibeo. The team will undergo a site visit at Auburn University (Auburn / Alabama, USA) on June 29. After the event, interested media representatives can view the vehicle in action and talk to the team during June 30-July 2.
“We anticipate good chances of winning the race,” explains Richard Bishop, Team Leader of the Team-LUX. After more then ten years of development, the basis is ideal for high-volume serial production for vehicles. The Ibeo LUX scanner used by Team-LUX will go into production as a mini series as early as 2008 and will be available for the passenger car market.