Today I was the first casualty of the coming robot-human war. While watching one of the final rounds of the DARPA Grand Challenge, I was taking photos leaning on one of the concrete barriers that surrounded the track. After leaving the tunnel section of the course, “Tommy”, Team Jefferson’s entry, rapidly accelerated to about 40 miles per hour and struck the barrier exactly where I was standing. I had just enough time to run a few steps and dive into the dirt as it hit the barrier and knocked it about four feet towards where I was standing. Fortunately I escaped with a few cuts and scrapes from my dive, but Tommy was totaled.
Update: Talking to Team Jefferson later that day I found out that the last reading from their telemetry data had them going in excess of 50 miles per hour. However, they worked non-stop all night and had their vehicle ready for one more attempt the next day.