Still, this is a milestone 14 years in the making. The pursuit of driverless military convoys is older, in fact, than the war in Afghanistan. In 2000, Congress mandated that (emphasis mine), "It shall be a goal of the Armed Forces to achieve the fielding of unmanned, remotely-controlled technology such that by 2015, one-third of the operational ground combat vehicles of the Armed Forces are unmanned." DARPA, the Pentagon's research wing, took up the challenge, launching two driverless vehicle competitions (or three, really, since the first Grand Challenge, in 2004, ended without a winner). Other military robot vehicle projects were funded, ranging from staid autonomous cargo haulers to the MULE Armed Robot Vehicle, a driverless weapons platform whose articulated wheels let it rear up to lurch over cars, or hunker down to provide cover for humans.