Autonomous Driving in Traffic: Boss and the Urban Challenge

Chris Urmson, Chris Baker, John Dolan, Paul Rybski, Bryan Salesky, William Whittaker, Dave Ferguson, Michael Darms


The DARPA Urban Challenge was a competition to develop autonomous vehicles capable of safely, reliably and robustly driving in traffic. In this article we introduce Boss, the autonomous vehicle that won the challenge. Boss is complex artificially intelligent software system embodied in a 2007 Chevy Tahoe. To navigate safely, the vehicle builds a model of the world around it in real time. This model is used to generate safe routes and motion plans in both on roads and in unstructured zones. An essential part of Boss’ success stems from its ability to safely handle both abnormal situations and system glitches.


autonomous vehicles, robotics, motion planning, sensor fusion

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