The technological efforts began almost five years ago in 2015, which kickstarted a project that resulted in the DeLorean being able to do donuts. Since then, mechanical engineer Chris Gerdes and his students developed the self-driving car to drift through a multi-turn, kilometer-long track in just a matter of minutes at a level that’s nearly as good as real professionals. The DeLorean uses GPS coordinates and the algorithms on Jonathan Goh’s laptop to chart its path, meaning those behind the steering wheel are merely shotgun for a first-hand experience of autonomous drifting.
Gerdes says, “We’re trying to develop automated vehicles that can handle emergency maneuvers or slippery surfaces like ice or snow… 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.”
You can watch “MARTY” — the self-driving car’s codename — tackle “MARTYkhana” in the video above. For the full findings, check out the Stanford report.
In other automotive news, Top Gear has detailed McLaren’s roofless Elva hypercar.