Oct. 21, 2006: Contra Costa Times

Summary: After Stanford University won a Pentagon robot race through the Mojave Desert last year, engineers and students hoisted an oversized $2 million check and poured bubbly champagne over their unmanned Volkswagen SUV.

Next year’s winners won’t be as rich.

The Pentagon’s research arm, which has twice hosted the high-tech contests since 2004, blames an obscure section in a defense spending law signed by President Bush this week. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency said it believes the law prevents the agency from awarding the $2.7 million prize money.

So instead, DARPA will hand out shiny trophies to the top three teams whose smart vehicles can weave through congested city traffic without human help.

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