You’d take your brand-new Toyota Supra for a spin if you were handed the keys to the car armed with a new roll cage, a big body kit, and a fancy paint job. Maybe not this one, though. Because this one is designed specifically by Toyota to apply its autonymous technical know-how in the area of drifting. It drifts entirely autonomously.
Yeah, this ain’t no Tesla.
It’s a self-driving car from Toyota that can drift on its own. It was created by the Toyota Research Institute (TRI) and Stanford University, with input from drifting legend Ken Gushi and gReddy. Its actual goal isn’t to look cool drifting, but is actually to teach a vehicle how to save itself in an emergency when a driver can’t.
It will “amplify and augment a regular driver’s ability to respond to dangerous and extreme situations, helping keep people safe on the road”.
“When faced with wet or slippery roads, professional drivers may choose to ‘drift’ the car through a turn, but most of us are not professional drivers,” says Jonathan Goh of TRI according to Initiate Drift. “That’s why TRI is programming vehicles that can identify obstacles and autonomously drift around obstacles on a closed track.”
While many of you, including me, aren’t completely won over by the idea of not manually driving a car, this kind of technology could help those who don’t possess any skills, or interest, in being able to counter a drift on the road. My nan certainly wouldn’t be able to act fast enough to save herself and those around her if her car suddenly lost traction, but this system would be able to.
This application of autonomous technology is so vital, and while we’re scared of an autonomous future, I’m more than happy to have this technology in our vehicles and on our roads.