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Intelligent Vehicle Safety Technologies I
Vehicle Name Desert Tortoise
Team E-mail
Location Littleton, CO
Team Description* The Intelligent Vehicle Safety Technologies (IVST) teams are composed of technical experts in vehicle platforms, navigation, sensors, perception, and autonomy. The teams share a common focus of producing robust autonomous platforms that fuse these domains, with each member contributing in their area of expertise and learning from others in a dynamic exchange of ideas. The ultimate goal of this effort is to create safer vehicle systems both through new concepts in sensing and perception as well as evolution of autonomous navigation and control technologies. It is our intent that much of what we are working on will migrate to commercial products.

The core team members are able to draw upon the resources and expertise of four of the key sponsors:
Ford ruggedized vehicle platforms, desert truck race experience, actuation, drive-by-wire systems, advanced driver safety features, integration, and low level control
Honeywell navigation sensing for the complete spectrum of air and ground vehicles, obstacle detection and avoidance, path planning, and shock & environmental isolation
Delphi active sensing technologies and vehicle integration to create a safety cocoon around the vehicle
PercepTek autonomous perception, planning, and control algorithms employed in both military and commercial applications

In addition, significant contributions have been provided by the following companies: BFG, TRW, TracTech, FST Motorsports, Roush Industries, Poison Spyder Customs, and Leece-Neville.

The IVST teams will be using a common hardware base built on a Ford F250 Super Duty platform with a sensor set including GPS, inertial navigation, ladar, radar, and color stereo video. Although starting with nominally identical hardware, the IVST1 and IVST2 teams will employ variations in sensor fusion, planning, and control algorithms to produce distinctly different vehicle characters. We have a unique opportunity to explore fundamental tradeoffs of operational and performance parameters such as speed, reliability, risk, sensor characteristics such as field-of-view and resolution, sensor redundancy, and error correction. This type of optimization study would be difficult or impossible without twin vehicles that can simultaneously operate over the same course at the same time.

The Desert Tortoise fielded by the IVST1 team will concentrate on approaches which exploit the methodical perseverance of its namesake, favoring robust integration techniques to make use of the greater data volume available at slower speeds.

The Desert Hare fielded by the IVST2 team will concentrate on approaches which can safely navigate the Grand Challenge course at higher speeds, requiring the rapid acuity and flexibility of its namesake to be successful.

Sponsors* Delphi, Ford, Honeywell, and PercepTek.

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

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