The DARPA grandchallenge is a big contest for autonomous robot vehicle driving. It was run once in 2004 for the first time and all teams did badly. This year was notably different with the Stanford and CMU teams succesfully completing the course. A number of details are here and wikipedia has continuing coverage.
A formal winner hasn’t been declared yet although Stanford completed the course quickest.
The Stanford and CMU teams deserve a large round of applause as they have strongly demonstrated the feasibility of autonomous vehicles.
The good news for machine learning is that the Stanford team (at least) is using some machine learning techniques.