These Stanford engineering students built a robot for drifting
This electric DeLorean is designed to go autonomous drifting
Stanford University has built a simply incredible robot which has one job, to absolutely murder tires. Meet MARTY, an autonomous electric-swapped DMC12, and it has been designed and built to smoke tires along a 1km stretch of road.
Stanford engineers have taught MARTY, their driverless DeLorean, to drift through a kilometer-long autocross course with the agility and precision of a human...
However, in case you thought this was just for fun, it isn't. Stanford understands that as we move into the future of self driving cars will have to know how to get out of tricky situations. This DeLorean and its self driving software are designed to test the limits of autonomy in a low-grip environment.
“We’re trying to develop automated vehicles that can handle emergency maneuvers or slippery surfaces like ice or snow,” project leader and mechanical engineer Chris Gerdes said. “We’d like to develop automated vehicles that can use all of the friction between the tire and the road to get the car out of harm’s way. We want the car to be able to avoid any accident that’s avoidable within the laws of physics.”
Currently, semi-autonomous system's like Tesla's autopilot are very limited when it comes to extreme evasive maneuvers, and are programed to deliver the smoothest drive possible. This is technology which we'll have to evolve, especially if we will someday trust our lives in its capabilities.