Chapter

The DARPA Urban Challenge

Volume 56 of the series Springer Tracts in Advanced Robotics pp 595-622

TerraMax: Team Oshkosh Urban Robot

  • Yi-Liang ChenAffiliated withTeledyne Scientific & Imaging
  • , Venkataraman SundareswaranAffiliated withTeledyne Scientific & Imaging
  • , Craig AndersonAffiliated withTeledyne Scientific & Imaging
  • , Alberto BroggiAffiliated withVisLab - University of Parma
  • , Paolo GrisleriAffiliated withVisLab - University of Parma
  • , Pier Paolo PortaAffiliated withVisLab - University of Parma
  • , Paolo ZaniAffiliated withVisLab - University of Parma
  • , John BeckAffiliated withOshkosh Corporation

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Abstract

Team Oshkosh, comprised of Oshkosh Corporation, Teledyne Scientific and Imaging Company, VisLab of the University of Parma, Ibeo Automotive Sensor GmbH, and Auburn University, participated in the DARPA Urban Challenge and was one of the eleven teams selected to compete in the final event. Through development, testing, and participation in the official events, we have experimented and demonstrated autonomous truck operations in (controlled) urban streets of California, Wisconsin, and Michigan under various climate and traffic conditions. In these experiments TerraMaxTM, a modified Medium Tactical Vehicle Replacement (MTVR) truck by Oshkosh Corporation, negotiated urban roads, intersections, and parking lots, and interacted with manned and unmanned traffic while observing traffic rules. We have accumulated valuable experience and lessons on autonomous truck operations in urban environments, particularly in the aspects of vehicle control, perception, mission planning, and autonomous behaviors which will have an impact on the further development of large-footprint autonomous ground vehicles for the military.

In this article, we describe the vehicle, the overall system architecture, the sensors and sensor processing, the mission planning system, and the autonomous behavioral controls implemented on TerraMaxTM. We discuss the performance of some notable autonomous behaviors of TerraMax and our experience in implementing these behaviors, and present results of the Urban Challenge National Qualification Event (NQE) tests and the Urban Challenge Final Event (UCFE). We conclude with a discussion of lessons learned from all of the above experience in working with a large robotic truck.