10.05.2005

Final ceremony

With the Santa Ana winds blowing furiously, DARPA held its closing ceremonies for the DARPA Grand Challenge qualification event. It began rather comically as this highly technical, computer sophisticated event suffered microphone problems on-stage. I guess people who plan these sorts of things still haven’t figured out how to test mics before using them.

Anyway, the obligatory words of congratulations and “you’re all winners here” were expressed, followed by a reading of the 20 – make that 23 teams going to the finals. Apparently 23 of the 43 entrants surpassed DARPA’s competition threshold to qualify, thus three additional teams gained finals spots.

Sadly, IRV was not one of them. Scott Jones estimates the Indy team finished in the high twenties or low thirties among the 43 entrants. It must have been tough standing there as teams and their supporters cheered each call of a finalist’s name. But knowing Scott Jones, he simply took it as a personal challenge to get better and prove wrong any doubters.

Now, it’s on to the finals – as spectators not competitiors. May the best team win.

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