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Team MIT


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Cambridge, MA

Team Description*

MIT's Grand Challenge team is led by four co-principal investigators: John Leonard from the Dept. of Mechanical Engineering, Jonathan How from the Dept. of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Seth Teller from the Dept. of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, and David Barrett of Olin College.  The team also includes a number of other faculty and students from MIT, a group of engineers from the C.S. Draper Laboratory, and a team of undergraduates from Olin College.  The MIT team believes that the difficulty of the DARPA Grand Challenge arises principally from three types of uncertainty inherent in the autonomous urban driving task: in the input, i.e., the relationship of the provided environment and mission descriptions to the actual driving environment; in sensing, i.e., the relationship of available sensor data to the actual static and dynamic surroundings of the vehicle; and in actuation, i.e., the relationship between commanded vehicle motions and the vehicle's actual physical progress. In the absence of any uncertainty, meeting the challenge would be a straightforward engineering exercise, albeit a very complex one. Yet such uncertainty is unavoidable in reality; recognizing this fact, and developing strategies to account for uncertainty, are the keys to a successful DGC effort.  Our team's central, and distinctive, focus is addressing the above sources of uncertainty in a way that is both scalable to spatially extended environments, and efficient enough for real-time on-board operation in a dynamic world.

*This information is supplied by the team.  DARPA does not verify team descriptions.

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