Oops. I jumped the gun in reporting that Virginia Tech had possibly won Urban Challenge. Tech was actually third to roll past that checkered flag, after Stanford and Carnegie Mellon. In coming minutes all six remaining vehicles are expected to finish the race.
But speed isn’t the only criterion. Virginia’s Victor Tango was pretty quick, but if it flubbed too many of its required tasks, a slower team might nose ahead in total points. It appears Victor Tango did, in fact, fail one of its parking challenges. An orbiting chopper saw everything when VT edged only halfway into its parking space — then sped away. Jamie Hyneman of Mythbusters called Victor Tango’s decision-making “gentle” — and that’s not a good thing.
As we await a decision, how does Hyneman assess some of the other finalists? MIT is ”a little spastic,” he says. Stanford, on the other hand demonstrated smooth, crisp decision-making.
Update: Looks like just the first three teams — Virginia Tech, Carnegie Mellon and Stanford – beat the 6-hour deadline, meaning only they can take shares of the $3.5-million pot.