The CarOLO team from Braunschweig University of Technology is the best German team in the 2007 Urban Challenge, a competition organized by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). Of over 100 vehicles originally entering, the Braunschweig car managed to qualify in the autonomous robot vehicle competition as one of eleven vehicles for the final heat in Victorville, California. Expectations were high: The robot vehicles were required to complete a 60-mile course in what was largely an urban environment. Doing so, they had to avoid obstacles and observe local traffic regulations. Also on the road were 30 DARPA vehicles simulating normal road traffic.
Caroline, the vehicle from Braunschweig University of Technology, suffered a minor collision in the final and, with sensors distorted, was the fifth car to be knocked out of the competition. In the end, this meant an outstanding seventh place. The winner was the Tartan Racing Team from Pittsburgh in front of California's Stanford University.
Supporting the CarOLO Team as its main sponsor, IAV provided technical assistance in building the vehicle, with the sensor and energy concept, the software architecture as well as with testing. “Our warmest congratulations go to the CarOLO-Team for this excellent performance. The competition was highly exciting and extremely demanding right from the start", says Udo Wehner who is responsible at IAV for driver assistance and active safety systems.
Prior to this, DARPA had organized the Grand Challenge competition back in 2004 and 2005. This only involved completing a distance in the desert. This year, for the first time, the robot vehicles had to drive among moving traffic in an urban setting.