Ex-DARPA Challenge Autonomous Vehicle Pops Up on eBay

Ex-DARPA Challenge Autonomous Vehicle Pops Up on eBay 1 photo
Photo: eBay seller
The used vehicle market always has surprises in store for those who are looking for something different.
Let’s say you’re an eccentric individual and want an Isuzu VehiCross, the charismatically designed SUV launched in the late 1990s by the Asian brand. But a regular VehiCross isn’t enough for you, and you want one with a unique history. But what kind of history could a VehiCross have to attract the buyer wanting something out of the ordinary? How ‘bout a car that was used in a DARPA autonomous vehicle challenge? Well, that just about cuts it, right?

For $15,000, an eBay seller is offering the vehicle used by Austin Robot Technology in the DARPA Grand Challenge. As the seller mentions, this is an experimental vehicle and is not meant for daily driving. The fancy Velodyne laser scanner and the Applanix navigation units aren’t included in the sale.

But the buyer receives, along with the pictured Isuzu VehiCross (low mileage, seller says), all the mechanical actuators needed to steer, brake, accelerate and shift gears. Also included are an 180-degree laser scanner, software (unspecified), and two powerful computers mounted in the car. The machines are used for sensory acquisition and actually do the driving. Other parts used in the project are also included.

Judging by the eBay ad, this car can’t drive itself if you buy it, because it lacks specific lasers and a navigation unit. So you can’t go “Autopilot” on a budget with this Isuzu just after purchase. But this could be a great project car for a University team that wants to test autonomous vehicles and develop self-driving technology, as well as a mule for a company that wants to research this area in the future.

The car is located in Austin, Texas, if anyone’s interested.

Hat tip for the decal on the door that reminds us of “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.”
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About the author: Sebastian Toma
Sebastian Toma profile photo

Sebastian's love for cars began at a young age. Little did he know that a career would emerge from this passion (and that it would not, sadly, involve being a professional racecar driver). In over fourteen years, he got behind the wheel of several hundred vehicles and in the offices of the most important car publications in his homeland.
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