Toyota is making sure it has a firm grip on the future of automobiles. It is one of the first manufacturers to produce an affordable mass-market hybrid car in the Prius and they were among the first to mass-produce a hydrogen fuel cell car.
That being said, it’s no surprise that Toyota is taking autonomous driving very seriously. Enter the Toyota Research Institute (TRI). In a nutshell, TRI is like Toyota’s own “skunkworks” division that is meant to test and explore new technologies.
Toyota GR Supra Autonomous Drift Car Test
To test the limits of self-driving tech, TRI built a widebody GR Supra that can drift autonomously. Yes, you read that right; Toyota built an autonomous drift car. Look out Formula Drift drivers, the robots are coming for your jobs. The video above shows the first test run of the autonomous drift car at Thunderhill Raceway in California.
Speaking of pro drivers, the TRI engineers used data from Formula Drift driver Ken Gushi to build the algorithm that the Supra uses to figure out how to drift around corners and hit clipping points. So, if the driving style looks familiar, that is probably why.
While it might seem like this is was all for fun, there is actually a very important reason why TRI conducted this experiment. The autonomous drift car build is all about making self-driving technology safer and teaching autonomous algorithms how to handle unexpected driving conditions and loss of grip.
Improving driving safety is always a noble cause. But, we have to admit this is a pretty cool way to do it.
Do you think a human drift driver could beat this autonomous drift car in a Formula Drift tandem battle? Let us know in the comments below or tweet to us at @MotorworldHype.
[Source: Toyota via Hypebeast]