Torrance, CA – June 20, 2005 – NavCom Technology, a wholly owned subsidiary of Deere & Company (NYSE:DE), announced today that 12 of the 40 semifinalist teams competing in the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) 2005 Grand Challenge for autonomous robotic ground vehicles, are using NavCom’s SF-2050 GPS receivers and relying on the superior positioning of the StarFire™ Network. NavCom’s StarFire Network is a global satellite based augmentation system (SBAS) that provides precise positioning accuracies within a few centimeters of truth. The StarFire Network is used in land, marine and aeronautical applications in fields ranging from surveying and machine control to offshore and defense.
DARPA is offering a $2 million prize to the team whose unmanned robotic car is the first to complete the 150-mile off-road rugged desert course using only onboard sensors and navigation equipment to find and follow a predetermined route and avoid various obstacles. The vehicle must be fully autonomous, interpreting the world through sensors and making its own decisions about navigation, route planning, and obstacle avoidance.
“The extraordinary positioning accuracy that StarFire provides has made it a natural choice for many of the teams, and based on performance results so far, we are very hopeful that this year one of our sponsored teams will win the race” said NavCom Director of Advanced Programs, Dr. Peter Williams. “With the many challenges the course poses, the accuracy and reliability of the GPS sensor is a critical component for success."
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is the central research and development organization for the Department of Defense (DoD). It manages and directs selected basic and applied research and development projects for DoD, and pursues research and technology where risk and payoff are both very high and where success may provide dramatic advances for traditional military roles and missions. For more information about DARPA and the Grand Challenge, please visit http://www.darpa.mil/grandchallenge
About NavCom Technology, Inc.
NavCom Technology, Inc., a John Deere Company (NYSE:DE), is a leading provider of advanced GPS products for OEMs, VARs and system integrators needing high performance RTK systems, global decimeter level GPS satellite corrections, geodetic quality GPS receivers, wireless communication products and engineering consulting in the areas of precise positioning, wireless communications and robotics. For more information on NavCom Technology and its products, please visit www.NavComTech.com.