Stanford just turned a DeLorean into the ultimate self-driving drift machine

It’s Back to the Future Day! We may not have achieved all the technological milestones the ’80s classic prophesied by this historic date, but we’ve come pretty damn close.

A team of researchers at Stanford University’s Revs Center has tweaked an iconic DeLorean, made famous in the film as Doc Brown’s time machine, to be able to execute drifts and donuts all by itself.

They named their $22,000 vehicle MARTY, short for the Multiple Actuator Research Test bed for Yaw control. Speaking about the idea behind getting it to drift and manage perfect circles at that, Revs Center director Chris Gerdes said, “We think automated vehicles should be able to execute any maneuver within the physical limits of the vehicle to get out of harm’s way.”

MARTY features a brand-new power steering motor, custom steer-by-wire system, a roll cage for safety and an all-electric drivetrain from Renovo. And given that it’s geared towards testing its limits, it uses GPS and inertial sensors to detect movement instead of traditional radar-based sensors found in most self-driving prototypes.

Welcome MARTY, Stanford’s Latest Automated Vehicle [Stanford University via Wired]

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