In 2001 Congress mandated that by the year 2015 1/3 of military combat vehicles must have the capability to drive themselves.
But in 2001 the technology to achieve the mandate didn't exist so the Department of Defense charged its research branch or DARPA to develop it.
Team Mojavation took on the challenge and transformed a 2001 Nissan X–TERA into a robot to compete in a DARPA race.
The SUV is not operated by a remote control. It can negotiate intersections, merge into traffic, make u–turns, park and even pass other cars.
The first prize winner of the DARPA challenge will receive $2 million. Last time they competed team Mojavation placed 13th in the competition.
Nine of the ten members of the team are from Grand Junction and some are Mesa State faculty and one is a student.