Self-drifting Toyota Supra offers a look into safer autonomous vehicles

It’s possible that when you buy a Toyota in the future, it will come “fitted with a good driver”. Sounds exciting huh? Wait till you watch the video below!

The Toyota Research Institute has released a video that offers not just a glimpse into the future of self-driving cars but also how well they can maneuver themselves out of danger, to protect the occupants.

In a world’s first, TRI’s has programmed a vehicle to drift autonomous around obstacles – using Nonlinear Model Predictive Control (NMPC) – with the hopes that it can help future autonomous vehicles avoid accidents.

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As mentioned in the video, “Our team is developing on-demand autonomy to prevent car crashes; temporary giving an ordinary driver the drifting skills of an expert”.

“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,” said TRI researcher, Jonathan Goh.

He added, “We’ve developed algorithms that can autonomously control the vehicle in critical limit handling situations. We want cars to have the skills of an expert driver and be able to correctly react to difficult situations, like spinning”.

The tests were conducted in a Toyota Supra, where its suspension, engine, transmission, including safety systems such as a roll cage and fire suppression system, has been modified to Formula Drift specification.


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