Toyota showed how to drift without arms and legs (video)

Toyota showed how to drift without arms and legs (video)


The self-driving Supra controls speed, slip angles and calculates the skid trajectory just like professional drifters. In any case, when driving on an already familiar track.

TRI researchers have successfully programmed a vehicle to drift autonomously around obstacles on a closed track. The aim of this project is to use controlled skidding to prevent accidents when unexpected obstacles or dangerous conditions such as icy conditions appear on the road.

The technology is based on the principle of control with predictive models (Nonlinear Model Predictive Control, NMPC). Sequence of action? is predicted taking into account the dynamics of the system in a certain time interval. Every 1/20th of a second, the AI-powered software calculates a new trajectory for a seamless transition from drifting to regular driving and back again. Vehicle coordinates are determined using inertial navigation and two GNSS antennas.

The computer in the experimental car controls the steering, throttle, gearbox, and brakes on each wheel. To ensure safety during the test races, the Supra was re-equipped according to the model of cars for competitions in Formula Drift. The experiments were carried out at Thunderhill Raceway in California (USA).

TRI has been developing an autopilot with drifting skills since 2021 in collaboration with scientists at the Stanford Dynamic Design Lab. The partners of the project were the manufacturer of tuning components GReddy and drifting legend Ken Gushi.

“Through this project, we are expanding the area in which you can drive a car, with the goal of giving ordinary drivers the instinctive reflexes of a professional racer. So that they can handle the most complex emergencies and keep people safe on the road,” said Avinash Balachandran, Senior Manager, TRI Driving Research.

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