- All images: Stanford and Jon Goh

Meet MARTY, the DeLorean that can drift on its own

8w ago

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Jonathan Goh works on developing control algorithms that allow autonomous cars to drive in different scenarios. Now Jonathan has done something that no one could do. Jonathan with his team of Stanford engineers has converted the DeLorean DMC-12 to an electric autonomous car that can drift on its own. Jon and his team call this DeLorean MARTY and the successful test of the car at Thunderhill Raceway in Northern California was called MARTYkhana.

MARTY is an acronym for Multiple Actuator Research Test bed for Yaw control. Jon and his team have replaced the 2.85-litre V6 with twin electric motors and batteries. Goh and his team have also upgraded the suspension and added a roll cage.

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But how can a car drift on its own? The car is fitted with various sensors which follow GPS coordinates and algorithms to a drift course.

The Stanford engineers are researching on making autonomous cars to react to emergency situations in a very developed demeanour. MARTYkhana has led to mathematical insights that can further improve self-driving cars.

But this could have been done on some other car, why use a DeLorean? Mechanical engineer Chris Gerdes gave the answer to this question by saying, “The way we see it, if you’re going to build a research vehicle, why not do it with some style?”

The Stanford boffins have managed to achieve somehting very extraordinary with the MARTY and I hope that we will see this technology in the upcoming self-driving cars.

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