The head of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, Dr. Tony Tether, says the Urban Challenge will have multiple cash prizes. Tether told Wired magazine that prizes from $500,000 to $2,000,000 will be given to the top teams that successfully complete the 60-mile urban course with robotic vehicles.
The race will be very expensive to compete in because of the multitude of computers, sensors and not to mention a car that the teams will have to buy. DARPA is helping smaller teams with the costs by providing some seed money, for a piece of the technology action afterwards. One team turned down the offer because it was sponsored by a large aerospace firm that would presumably make much more money by itself if the vehicle won.
Read more ... Wired.