Oshkosh Truck’s Self-Navigating Robotic Truck Advances in Qualifying for Department Of Defense’s DARPA Grand Challenge
OSHKOSH, WIS. (April 12, 2005) – Oshkosh Truck Corporation [NYSE: OSK] announced today that the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has chosen the company’s TerraMaxTM robotic vehicle for evaluation for the DARPA Grand Challenge 2005 — a 175-mile, off-road race in the Mojave Desert for completely autonomous vehicles. Of 195 teams originally submitting race entries, DARPA, a part of the Department of Defense, chose 118 for further review based on vehicle designs and capabilities.
DARPA Grand Challenge 2005 is a field test of autonomous (driverless) ground vehicles to promote the advance of autonomous vehicle technology. Teams vying to compete in the Grand Challenge develop their vehicles without government funding. By 2015, the Pentagon hopes that using autonomous military vehicles such as TerraMax will help save the lives of military personnel.
“Being chosen by DARPA for a site visit is a huge first step and represents tremendous work by our team, both here at Oshkosh Truck and with our partners at Rockwell Collins and the University of Parma, Italy,” said Gary Schmiedel, Oshkosh’s vice president for advanced products engineering. “Based on the success of our TerraMax vehicle at last year’s Grand Challenge, we’re optimistic about our chances this year.”
In May, DARPA personnel will evaluate the autonomous capabilities of each of the 118 qualifying vehicles on-site, including their ability to follow GPS navigation and avoid obstacles. Only 40 teams will advance to DARPA’s National Qualifying Event (NQE) in Fontana, Calif., in September. Of these, the top 20 teams will advance to the Grand Challenge on Oct. 8, 2005. The team whose autonomous vehicle completes the Grand Challenge route the fastest within 10 hours will win $2 million.
In 2004, TerraMax was one of only seven entries to complete the 1.3-mile qualifying course for the Grand Challenge. The platform for TerraMax is Oshkosh’s combat-proven Medium Tactical Vehicle Replacement (MTVR), which was originally built for the U.S. Marine Corps and has been used extensively in Afghanistan and Iraq. For the 2005 Grand Challenge, TerraMax has been given rear-wheel steering for improved manueverability.
To learn more about the TerraMax truck and its related technologies, visit the Oshkosh’s robotic vehicle home page at www.terramax.com.
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®, CON-E-CO® 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 about Oshkosh Truck Corporation, visit its web site at www.oshkoshtruckcorporation.com
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