Peter Stone named winner of the Tech Innovations Award by the Austin Business Journal


Austin, TX, United States, 11/30/2007 - Stone received the award for his work on “Marvin,” an artificially intelligent, self-driving vehicle developed in conjunction with Austin Robot Technology (ART) for a Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) competition.

The Austin Business Journal today honored Dr. Peter Stone of the University of Texas at Austin with its Tech Innovation Award.

"The whole team from Austin Robot Technology and the University of Texas at Austin are honored to receive this award,” said Dr. Stone, associate professor of computer sciences. “Now that we have an operational self-driving full-size car, we look forward to continuing our research and undergraduate education using the platform, as well as possible business opportunities in Austin."

ART, an independent Austin-based group of programmers and engineers, originally created the vehicle to complete in the 2005 DARPA competition. In 2007, they partnered with internationally renowned artificial intelligence expert Stone and UT-Austin’s Computer Science department to refine Marvin’s software during Stone’s undergraduate class. The vehicle made the semifinals of the 2007 DARPA competition held in late October.

“ART began as a group of high-tech hobbyists,” said ART team leader Dave Tuttle. "Dr. Stone and his students helped us get to that next level. We probably couldn’t have made it this far without them."

The Austin Business Journal’s Tech Innovations Awards are given to individuals with the most innovative technology ideas in Central Texas. This year, eight professionals were recognized.

“We set out to find some of the best and brightest innovators in Central Texas, and Peter Stone and his team at Austin Robot Technology are a perfect example of the type of groundbreaking work happening in this region," said Lyn Chasteen, publisher of the Austin Business Journal.

Other DARPA-driven inventions have had enormous commercial applications. The team believes their robotic technologies someday will improve safety, convenience and fuel efficiency and will be of interest to original equipment manufacturers, automation firms and manufacturing equipment makers.

The Tech Innovations Awards are given to individuals with the most innovative technology ideas in Central Texas. A complete list of winners will appear in the Friday, November 30, edition of the Austin Business Journal.

About the Austin Robot Technology/University of Texas at Austin team
Austin Robot Technology – an independent Austin-based group of programmers and engineers – is an autonomous SUV robot team whose self-driving vehicle competed in the semifinals of the DARPA Urban Challenge in 2007 and placed in the top 20 of 35.

In preparation for the Challenge, ART partnered with Dr. Peter Stone, recipient of the 2007 Computers and Thought Award from the International Joint Conferences on Artificial Intelligence and professor of computer sciences at The University of Texas at Austin. ART’s Isuzu VehiCross SUV “Marvin” was the subject of Dr. Stone’s course “Autonomous Vehicles: Driving in Traffic” in the department of Computer Science. The course provided undergraduates with unmatched hands-on experience with autonomous vehicle technology, and those students became part of the 2007 DARPA Urban Challenge team.

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