Carnegie Mellon University has won this year’s Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Urban Challenge for unmanned ground vehicles.

The contest saw eleven robotic vehicles navigate a 60 mile simulation of an urban environment, complete with dual carriage ways, intersections, other road users and roundabouts.

Carnegie‘s entry, sponsored by General Motors, was a Chevrolet Tahoe sport utility vehicle nicknamed “Boss”.

It was the second to cross the finish line, but was awarded first place after judges considered the vehicle’s precision in negotiating the course and how well it obeyed traffic rules.

First to finish was Stanford University’s Volkswagen Passat, named “Junior”, which took second place.

Third place was awarded to Virginia Tech’s entry.

Five of the eleven competing vehicles pulled out of the course after technical problems or crashes.

This is the third unmanned vehicle challenge run by DARPA, as it seeks to reach a congressional deadline to have a third of military vehicles unmanned by 2015.

By Elizabeth Clifford-Marsh