Following in the illustrious footsteps of Enron, Vivendi Universal / Vizzavi and Iridium the DARPA Grand Challenge fell victim to the curse of the eight page spread in Wired Magazine.
For those who don’t know the Grand Challenge was a way of DARPA (America’s military think-tank who supported the development of the graphical user interface for computers, the development of packet networks and the ARPAnet (the Internet’s granddaddy)) to get ideas on the best way to develop driverless vehicles (ensuring that the Private Lynch fiasco could not happen again).
An assortment of vehicles were going to navigate without human help from Bakersfield to Las Vegas. The event was feted as a true geek sporting event by intelligent techie site IT Conversations.
Unfortunately the vehicles underperformed with the best only managing to get seven miles down the road. Hopefully the lessons learned will be worth the considerable resources thrown at the problem.