Bots crash at the DARPA Urban Challenge

Posted by Humphrey Cheung

The first day of qualifications isn’t even over yet and two robotic vehicles have already crashed.

Victorville (CA) – The first day of qualifications isn’t even over yet and two robotic vehicles have already crashed.  The Lotus Elise run by Insight Racing hopped over a curb and nicked its bumper earlier in the day.  Not to be outdone, Sting Racing’s Porsche Cayenne accelerated into another K-Rail on its practice run.  See the spectacular collision and hear the bone-crunching sounds on our video below.

The collision bent the Cayenne’s front sensor railing up about three inches on the front right bumper area.  In the video you can see one of the sensors piercing the front grill of the car.  Initial sensor data estimates the collision happened at 24 miles-per-hour.

Sting Racing team members told us that it’s too early to tell how much damage was done or how long it will take to fix it.  One member said they could possibly run their vehicle without any of the front bumper sensors.  “They didn’t do us a lot of good anyways,” said the member.  Afterwards, another team member said that statement was just a brainstorming technique and wasn't really a serious consideration.

Even though all the teams are competing for several million dollars in prize money and worldwide bragging rights, team leaders from Stanford and Tartan Racing came over immediately to give advice and also offered to lend tools along with personnel to help fix the car.

We’ll be bringing you updates on Sting Racing’s progress.

Other DARPA Urban Challenge coverage

Qualification runs begin at Urban Challenge