Toyota GR Supra executing a perfectly controlled drift is nothing new – but seeing the car achieve this feat with no-one at the wheel is an extraordinary spectacle. And it’s all in the pursuit of advanced safety.
Toyota’s goal is zero casualties from traffic accidents. While most crashes occur in everyday driving situations, there are occasions where evasive action takes a vehicle beyond its normal handling limits. For example, on a wet or slippery road, professional drivers may choose to “drift” the car through a bend, skilfully balancing the brakes, throttle and steering.
The Toyota Research Institute has engineered the self-driving GR Supra coupé in collaboration with Stanford University’s Dynamic Design Laboratory. The aim is to explore new systems that could replicate the instinctive reflexes of a professional racing driver and provide the calculated foresight of a supercomputer to avoid a collision. The US-based engineers are researching how to combine these qualities in a new level of automated driving technology.