DIY Team of Hot Rodders’ Among 40 Top Teams Chosen for 2005 DARPA Grand Challenge

Los Angeles based AI Motorvators team in the midst of 2 million dollar high-tech national competition. MIT, Princeton teams eliminated

Los Angeles, CA (PRWEB) June 9, 2005 -- The A.I. Motorvators are a Southern California based team of engineers, racers, and hot-rodders turning automotive race know-how and programming savvy into advanced vehicle technology. "We're carrying on the tradition of taking automotive technology to the limit; we see it as 21st century hot-rodding" says team leader Chris Pedersen. "We are proud to be able to contribute something that might save lives." The team began in 2003.

What began in a residential garage has now become a force to be reckoned with. The AI Motorvators’ are betting their fully-autonomous, open-wheeled roadster aptly named “Dawn of the Independents” has the right stuff to take on some major competition. Up for grabs is a 2 million dollar prize and engineering bragging rights among the top universities and private sector companies.

In addition to Pedersen, team members include: Steve Piorek, Gunnar Ristroph, Hans Scholze, Catherine Huybrechts, Don Tuch, Tony Carlson, Lisa Mills and Richard Bellamy. “We learned a lot during last year’s competition, we expect to be extremely competitive” says Pedersen. “Our vehicle represents a complete departure from off the shelf components”. The team designed and built everything including the chassis, actuation mechanics, embedded control hardware, and comprehensive navigational and control software. “Nobody has the equipment we’ve got.”

The DARPA Grand challenge is a race for computer controlled vehicles to self-navigate more than 150 miles off road, across the California and Nevada deserts without any human control. The first team to complete the prescribed course in under 10 hours wins the 2 million dollars. The NQE or National Qualification Event will be a week long competition at California Speedway leading up to the race. The competition should be very intense as 40 of the best teams in the nation will be vying for only 20 starting spots for the race. The event is open to the public as well as press and media.

The AI Motorvators are seeking additional sponsors interested in the enormous publicity this prestigious event will generate.

Current sponsors include:Trimble Ag Division, Omnistar, Digital Globe, RadarSat International.

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