What is the Grand Challenge?
This "Grand Challenge" is intended to accelerate the development of autonomous vehicle technologies. DARPA and other US agencies are already funding numerous developments in the robotics vehicle domain. This specific endeavor, however, is targeted to find smart solutions that are to be tested in a realistic scenario under challenging race conditions - something that has never been done before on this scale.
In July 2002, the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) announced that it would award a cash prize of $1 Million to the team that builds an autonomous robotic ground vehicle that will successfully win a race from Los Angeles to Las Vegas.
On March 13, 2004, the Grand Challenge took place with no vehicles completing more than 8 miles autonomously before being disqualified. Nevertheless, the event successfully created a community of engineers, garage enthousihast and students who together took the first steps in private autonomous vehicle development.
There was no winner March 13, 2004. So, DARPA decided to hold a new Grand Challenge on October 8th, 2005 with a $2 million prize. For additional info please visit: http://www.darpa.mil/grandchallenge