The Racing Team chose the wagon, as opposed to the Touareg that raced in the 2005 Grand Challenge, because of its smaller size for ease on city streets and the convenience of its hatchback for housing hardware and software.
Intel, a sponsor of the team, donated the dual and quad processors on rackmount servers to run Junior. The instruments process data as often as 200 times per second, making Junior's "brain" about four times more powerful than its predecessor, Stanley.
Applanix, a new sponsor of Stanford's team, supplied the global positioning system, to the right of the instruments. The system helps Junior figure out its position and orientation with the use of multiple, dual-frequency GPS receivers, an inertial measurement unit, wheel odometry and Omnistar's satellite-based Virtual Base Station system.
Volkswagen built the robot's "drive by wire" system, which takes commands from the software over Ethernet to control car actions like gear shifting, braking and steering.
Other team sponsors include MDV-Mohr Davidow Ventures, Red Bull, Google, NXP Semiconductors and, of course, Volkswagen.
February 17, 2007 8:00 AM PST
Photo by: Stefanie Olsen/CNET News.com
Conversation powered by Livefyre