The Intelligent Ground Vehicle Competition (IGVC) is one of three, unmanned systems, student competitions that were founded by the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) in the 1990s. The IGVC is a multidisciplinary exercise in product realization that challenges college engineering student teams to integrate advanced control theory, machine vision, vehicular electronics, and mobile platform fundamentals to design and build an unmanned system. Both U.S. and international teams focus on developing a suite of dual-use technologies to equip ground vehicles of the future with intelligent driving capabilities. Over the past 12 years, the competition has challenged undergraduate, graduate and Ph.D. students with real world applications in intelligent transportation systems, the military and manufacturing automation. To date, teams from over 43 universities and colleges have participated. This paper describes some of the applications of the technologies required by this competition and discusses the educational benefits. The primary goal of the IGVC is to advance engineering education in intelligent vehicles and related technologies. The employment and professional networking opportunities created for students and industrial sponsors through a series of technical events over the three-day competition are highlighted. Finally, an assessment of the competition based on participant feedback is presented.