VW Stanley

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VW Stanley
Volkswagen Stanley
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General information
Company Activity
Europe Volkswagen
From 2005 to 2005 Concluded
[Official website]
Project Coordinator


Stanley is an autonomous car created by Stanford University's Stanford Racing Team in cooperation with the Volkswagen Electronics Research Laboratory (ERL). The autonomous car won the 2005 DARPA Grand Challenge.


Stanley is an autonomous laboratory designed to test and further develop the technology of the future. Numerous sensors and a combination of four laser detectors gather vast amounts of data. Stereo visual display units, highly-developed 24-Gigahertz radar equipment and an extremely accurate, satellite-supported navigation system show the exact location of the vehicle digitally to the exact millimeter at any point on the journey and calculate the optimum route to the preset destination.

This concentrated flow of information is fed to the high-performance computer center with its seven 1.6-Gigahertz processors located in the trunk of the Touareg. The specially developed software computes the necessary changes in speed and direction and makes sure that Stanley reaches its destination safely.


The autonomous car confirmed its speed during the Grand Challenge 2005, a 220 kilometer race for autonomous cars. Stanley crossed the finishing line first, covering the journey through the Mojave Desert near Las Vegas in just under seven hours. The Stanley prototype and its successors have and will continue to pioneer further driver assistance systems, researching and developing into technologies into autonomous cars.

Related Projects


Stanford University's Stanford Racing Team and Volkswagen Electronics Research Laboratory (ERL)

Budget / Funding