Except, that is, for MIT's robot car, which was well and truly on its own. MIT elected to go entirely sensor-based, foregoing the provided GPS breadcrumb trail, and relying solely on the robot's real-time perception of the course to dictate its actions. This would turn out to be a terrible gameplan—the car went off-road at one point, and was literally in the weeds for precious minutes of the race. But the robot eventually crossed the finish line in fourth place. And though they didn't take home any prize money, MIT's team leader, John Leonard, claimed victory even in defeat. More than any other competitor, including the Urban Challenge's winners, MIT had demonstrated pure, no-strings-attached autonomy. And despite the scenic detour, the robot had completed its mission. Winning the race, according to Leonard, was never part of the plan.