Insight Racing & N.C. State Display Autonomous Vehicle at TransPark Center
May 25, 2007
KINSTON, N.C.—After successfully passing another elimination round, Insight Racing and N.C. State University’s College of Engineering displayed its computer-driven Lotus Elise today at the TransPark Center. This vehicle is targeted to compete in the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Grand Challenge on November 3, 2007.
DARPA created the Grand Challenge events to advance unmanned vehicle driving technology more rapidly, answering a congressional mandate to convert one-third of military vehicles to driverless, computer-driven mode by 2015. On May 10, the Insight Racing team was informed that its vehicle continues to be a candidate for inclusion in the Grand Challenge.
“We are pleased that Insight Racing chose the Global TransPark Authority’s state-of-the-art TransPark Center for unveiling and testing this robotic vehicle,” said Darlene Waddell, executive director of the N.C. Global TransPark. She added, “It is good to know the technology Insight Racing is pursuing may soon save lives of our country’s military personnel during dangerous missions.”
In the Urban Challenge segment of the competition, these robotic vehicles will drive on city streets, avoid obstacles, stop at intersections, maneuver traffic circles, park, interact and pass other traffic, and determine the best way to accomplish a mission assigned by DARPA.
The Insight Racing team will now face several elimination rounds to advance to the final Urban Challenge event in November of 2007. The next elimination round is the site visit which will take place at the Global TransPark sometime in June. DARPA officials are planning to evaluate the Lotus Elise on the GTP course, demonstrating many of the driving behaviors needed in the November event.
“We are proud to have the support of the Global TransPark,” said Grayson Randall, Insight Racing founder. “We chose the GTP for our upcoming testing because its roads and runway meet the DARPA specification of a site visit course. It is an outstanding facility with top notch services.”“We have a highly talented dynamic team that is composed of students from N.C. State University, members of the Triangle technical community and retired business executives,” said Randall. “We are thrilled to compete in this innovative race, which is moving autonomous driving ahead so rapidly.”
Other sponsors include: Advanced Vehicle Research Center, Lotus Engineering, Insight Technologies, Inc., NC State University, SAS, Northrup Grumman, Smith Anderson, Ascot Technologies, Inc., BDMICRO LLC, Comtrol, PC MedEvac, Tekelec , Auto Europe Sales, Automation Direct, Cinnamon Peripherals, NC Global Transpark, gridconnect, Lotus of Durham, Peak System Technik, Revware, and Sanford Lee County Regional Airport.
About Insight Racing:
Insight Racing is a cooperative effort between Insight Technologies Inc., Lotus Engineering Inc., N.C. State University’s College of Engineering and the Advanced Vehicle Research Center (AVRC) as well as other North Carolina businesses. www.insightracing.org
For more information about sponsorships of this vehicle or the event, please contact Tara Britt at [email protected]
About the N.C. Global TransPark Authority:
The N.C. Global TransPark Authority is a state agency responsible for planning, building and operating the Global TransPark project. In addition to being a real estate development entity, the Authority provides education and training opportunities, airport services and other benefits designed to attract industry and bring increased economic opportunities to the citizens of Eastern North Carolina.