Are autonomous cars the future? To find out, Toyota‘s Research Institute (TRI) has teamed up with Stanford University‘s Dynamic Design Lab to create an autonomous, self-drifting Supra which aims to reduce the rates of life-threatening crashes.
Speaking on the new initiative, Gill Pratt, TRI CEO and Chief Scientist at Toyota Motor Corporation said, “Every day, there are deadly vehicle crashes that result from extreme situations where most drivers would need superhuman skills to avoid a collision. The reality is that every driver has vulnerabilities, and to avoid a crash, drivers often need to make maneuvers that are beyond their abilities.”
In order to achieve this, TRI and Stanford University have examined real drivers — some of which are the most skilled in the world — and have taken their abilities into a digital realm, learning the behaviors that would make them able to avoid safety hazards that the average driver could not.
The result is something similar to Stanford University’s “Opening New Dimensions: Vehicle Motion Planning and Control using Brakes while Drifting” study, which programmed a DeLorean to drift on command. Now, using brakes, steering, and propulsion, TRI will be applying similar technology to its GR Supra, resulting in a rear-wheel-drive vehicle that uses drifts to combat collisions.
For now, the TRI and Stanford University research is just a test concept, but you can expect to find new safety technology derived from this study in your car in the near future. Take a look at the self-drifting Supra above.
Elsewhere in the automotive world, NOVITEC has built a rapid Ferrari F8 Tributo.