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Aim Team Driverless Truck Update

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Posted 23 August 2008 - 05:00 PM

Hi Jessica,

I am fomer E6 and later O-4 Paul F. Grayson - Team Leader for AMERICAN INDUSTRIAL MAGIC's DARPA Urban Challenge Team and this is an update on our progress toward making US Army supply trucks driverless. This is expected to save one Army driver's life a day in Iraq and DoT believes that when the collision avoidance part of this automatic system is appleid to cars, busses, and trucks on US roadways will save 5,000 lives a month. CDC points out that as a public health issue this would be more important than curing cancer for the 0 to 49 years old age group.

Supply trucks that can drive themselves will be able to get urget supplies through hot zones without risking the lives of 19 year old US Army truck drivers such as yourself.

I am doing the best with the resources I have been able to find. My team has an M-215 that we are in the process of converting to driverless operation. It qualifies for antique vehicle plates so we save money there. The insurance expense on an antique vehicle only used for demonstrations and shows is also very low. The team is working with about $500 a month that I donate from my second job to the project. My daytime job is repairing machinery for the Crown Golf Course here in Traverse City, MI. They have donated a roll around mechanics tool box and $50 to the project.

Regular updates on our progress are posted on the Robot Club of Traverse City, MI news group at:

Other progress information and comments about other automated vehicles are posted in my three times a week column for the engineering trade journal Control Engineering, Online Edition, three times a week:

Working on this project is something that the DoD has asked me to do and I am glad to be working on it. I just wish that I could find the people that I know are out there who would want to help me finish this project. If I had the Money, Manpower, and Materials that we need, it looks like we would be able to finish this and the US Army would have the truck guideance system demonstration vehicle they need in about 9 months. I am looking forward to finishing this project as soon as I can and moving on to the next question they need solved.

You can see a video clip of the truck on the TV News at:

DARPA Urban Challenge
We have been promoting the race since the start, encouraging other teams to try to beat us, helping them when they get stuck, and working on fielding a vehicle of our own. We have one laser range finder, six radars and three color cameras mounted on it right now as a start. The main computer fills the space under the co-drivers seat. Being an experimental vehicle in the middle of its development, everything is subject to change as we add nore of what works and get rid of what doesn't.

In the most recent race six vehicles were able to cross the finish line of a 55 mile city traffic course without drivers, without remote control. The trucks and cars drove themselves.

I just thought you might want to know what we are doing to save soldiers lives.


Paul F. Grayson - Chief Engineer
Racing to build technology that saves soldier's lives.
390 4-Mile Rd. S.
Traverse City, MI 49686-8411
(231) 946-0187, (231) 883-4463 Cell
Robot Club:
CE Magazine:

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#2 User is offline   Laracroft 

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Posted 13 September 2008 - 09:53 AM

if this works this could be cool thanks for the post

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