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The mission to accomplish

To succeed in the DARPA Urban Challenge, teams' robot cars must safely complete a simulated battlefield-supply mission on a 60-mile "urban" course. The setting replicates the environment in which many of today's battlefield missions are conducted, according to the DARPA Web site.

Below are some of the challenges the vehicles will face:

Stay in the lanes

Travel to all designated "military" checkpoints

Get out of dead-end streets

Maintain all speed limits and not go more than 30 mph

Make U-turns

Turn at intersections, staying in the assigned lanes

Navigate around moving and stationary objects without crashing into them

Drive in reverse

Park in parking spaces and back out of them

Negotiate intersections with two, three or more stopped cars

Negotiate complex road configurations, such as T-stops

Negotiate lane endings due to construction or hazards

Negotiate traffic circles

Stop at stop signs

Follow all traffic laws

Drive successfully on off-road, unpaved surfaces

Where there are no lanes, detect roadside berms and not crash into them

Complete the 60-mile race in under 6 hours

Sue Dremann

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