Oshkosh Truck Corporation’s TerraMax Meets Speed Requirements for DARPA Grand Challenge
OSHKOSH, WIS. (Sept. 13, 2005) – Oshkosh Truck (NYSE: OSK) announced today that its TerraMax driverless vehicle for the 2005 DARPA Grand Challenge has successfully navigated a rugged 19.6-mile test segment at an average speed of 19 mph, which makes it fast enough to potentially complete the 175-mile Grand Challenge in less than the required 10 hours. Partners for TerraMax include Oshkosh Truck, Rockwell Collins and the University of Parma, Italy.
The Grand Challenge, an autonomous vehicle race set for Oct. 8, 2005, near Primm, Nev., is sponsored by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the research arm of the Pentagon. The purpose of the race is to stimulate grass-roots interest in developing robotic technology for future military applications. The winning robotic vehicle will be the first to successfully navigate a 175-mile, off-road desert course in less than 10 hours.
In testing, TerraMax has demonstrated excellent control, navigation, obstacle detection and avoidance abilities during several weeks of operation in race conditions. Specifically, TerraMax has been navigating the challenging Daggett Ridge area near Barstow, which has narrow switchback trails and steep grades. TerraMax senses its own pitch and roll, as well as the distance to the road’s edge – often only a few inches away – and adjusts its steering, throttle and braking accordingly.
Engineers from Oshkosh Truck and its Rockwell Collins and the University of Parma partners are tuning the vehicle’s control system to increase its speed when terrain conditions allow.
“We have demonstrated the capability to run for extended periods at speeds up to 35 mph in a difficult desert environment,” said Gary Schmiedel, vice president of advanced products engineering, Oshkosh Truck. “As TerraMax’s speeds improve, it has become increasingly difficult for our SUV chase vehicle to stay close. TerraMax is able to traverse washed-out areas of the trail at speeds which will destroy the suspension of a typical SUV or pickup truck.” TerraMax utilizes a Medium Tactical Vehicle Replacement (MTVR) chassis, a workhorse of the U.S. Marine Corps with a 70% off-road profile.
TerraMax will remain in the Barstow area until the start of the National Qualification Event for the DARPA Grand Challenge at the California Speedway later this month.
To learn more about the TerraMax truck and its related technologies, visit www.terramax.com. For more information about the DAPRA Grand Challenge, visit www.darpa.mil/grandchallenge.
About Oshkosh Truck Corporation
Oshkosh Truck Corporation [NYSE: OSK] is a leading manufacturer of specialty trucks and truck bodies for the defense, fire and emergency, concrete placement and refuse hauling markets. Oshkosh Truck is a Fortune 1000 company with products marketed under the Oshkosh®, Pierce®, McNeilus®, Medtec®, Geesink®, Norba®, Jerr-Dan® and London® brand names. The company is headquartered in Oshkosh, Wis., and had annual sales of $2.3 billion in fiscal 2004. To learn more, visit the company’s Web site at www.oshkoshtruckcorporation.com.
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