Autonomous driving in urban environments: Boss and the Urban Challenge

Christopher Urmson, Joshua Anhalt, Hong Bae, J. Andrew (Drew) Bagnell, Christopher R. Baker, Robert E. Bittner, Thomas Brown, M. N. Clark, Michael Darms, Daniel Demitrish, John M. Dolan, David Duggins, David Ferguson, Tugrul Galatali, Christopher M. Geyer, Michele Gittleman, Sam Harbaugh, Martial Hebert, Thomas Howard, Sascha Kolski, Maxim Likhachev, Bakhtiar Litkouhi, Alonzo Kelly, Matthew McNaughton, Nick Miller, Jim Nickolaou, Kevin Peterson, Brian Pilnick, Raj Rajkumar, Paul Rybski, Varsha Sadekar, Bryan Salesky, Young-Woo Seo, Sanjiv Singh, Jarrod M. Snider, Joshua C. Struble, Anthony (Tony) Stentz, Michael Taylor, William (Red) L. Whittaker, Ziv Wolkowicki, Wende Zhang and Jason Ziglar
Journal Article, Journal of Field Robotics Special Issue on the 2007 DARPA Urban Challenge, Part I, Vol. 25, No. 8, pp. 425-466, June, 2008

View Publication

Copyright notice: This material is presented to ensure timely dissemination of scholarly and technical work. Copyright and all rights therein are retained by authors or by other copyright holders. All persons copying this information are expected to adhere to the terms and constraints invoked by each author's copyright. These works may not be reposted without the explicit permission of the copyright holder.


Boss is an autonomous vehicle that uses on-board sensors (global positioning system, lasers, radars, and cameras) to track other vehicles, detect static obstacles, and localize itself relative to a road model. A three-layer planning system combines mission, behavioral, and motion planning to drive in urban environments. The mission planning layer considers which street to take to achieve a mission goal. The behavioral layer determines when to change lanes and precedence at intersections and performs error recovery maneuvers. The motion planning layer selects actions to avoid obstacles while making progress toward local goals. The system was developed from the ground up to address the requirements of the DARPA Urban Challenge using a spiral system development process with a heavy emphasis on regular, regressive system testing. During the National Qualification Event and the 85-km Urban Challenge Final Event, Boss demonstrated some of its capabilities, qualifying first and winning the challenge.

author = {Christopher Urmson and Joshua Anhalt and Hong Bae and J. Andrew (Drew) Bagnell and Christopher R. Baker and Robert E. Bittner and Thomas Brown and M. N. Clark and Michael Darms and Daniel Demitrish and John M. Dolan and David Duggins and David Ferguson and Tugrul Galatali and Christopher M. Geyer and Michele Gittleman and Sam Harbaugh and Martial Hebert and Thomas Howard and Sascha Kolski and Maxim Likhachev and Bakhtiar Litkouhi and Alonzo Kelly and Matthew McNaughton and Nick Miller and Jim Nickolaou and Kevin Peterson and Brian Pilnick and Raj Rajkumar and Paul Rybski and Varsha Sadekar and Bryan Salesky and Young-Woo Seo and Sanjiv Singh and Jarrod M. Snider and Joshua C. Struble and Anthony (Tony) Stentz and Michael Taylor and William (Red) L. Whittaker and Ziv Wolkowicki and Wende Zhang and Jason Ziglar},
title = {Autonomous driving in urban environments: Boss and the Urban Challenge},
journal = {Journal of Field Robotics Special Issue on the 2007 DARPA Urban Challenge, Part I},
year = {2008},
month = {June},
volume = {25},
number = {8},
pages = {425-466},
} 2019-06-26T16:44:52-04:00