Robot Race III

DARPA [PDF] has put a good spin on the rather lackluster results of its robot race:

“Today was a most important first step in a long journey,†said Dr. Anthony Tether, Director of DARPA. “Although none of the vehicles completed the course, and we were not able to award the cash prize, we learned a tremendous amount today about autonomous ground vehicle technology. Some vehicles made it seven miles, some made only one mile, but they all made it to the Challenge, and that in itself is a remarkable accomplishment.â€

Thomas Edison is quoted as having said, “Results! Why, man, I have gotten a lot of results. I know several thousand things that won’t work.” Perhaps Dr. Tether is operating on the same principle.

FILED UNDER: Military Affairs, Science & Technology
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Paul says:

    well…. The guy sorta has a point. They had a qualifying event that just 2 years ago nobody would have gotten thru.

    His glasses might be a little tinted but they are not completely rose colored.

  2. James Joyner says:

    Yep. That’s the nature of trying to do quantum leaps in technology–failure is to be expected.

  3. Kate says:
  4. melvin toast says:

    If you wanna know how stupid computers are just look at
    your spam filter. Were these autos completely autonimous
    or were they remote control? I’m assuming autonimous
    Wouldn’t that be easier/cheaper/more effective to make them remote control?

  5. Rodney Dill says:

    Actually it would be easier and cheaper to just put a human driver in the vehicle. But doing that or making them remote control would sort of defeat the purpose of encouraging the advancement of technology that would allow them to operate autonimously.