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kottke.org posts about Jonathan Goh

A Self-Driving DeLorean Is Taught How to Drift

posted by Jason Kottke   Dec 27, 2019

A group of Stanford engineers has built an electric self-driving DeLorean that they’ve taught how to drift through a fairly complicated kilometer-long course “with the agility and precision of a human driver”. I imagine this will be available as a free update to Telsas soon after some of this project’s team members get hired over there.

According to this article, the car completed the course on the first try, after “seeing” a GPS map of it.

MARTY is a 1981 DeLorean that Goh and his colleagues at Stanford’s Dynamic Design Lab converted into an all-electric, autonomous drift car. Four years ago, MARTY drifted — the style of driving where the car moves forward even though it’s pointed sideways — through its first doughnuts with inhuman precision. Since then, Goh and team have been busy welding and coding to prepare MARTY to apply those basic drifting skills to an intense driving course, and unbelievably everything had worked perfectly. MARTY screeched its way through turns and quick zigs and zags in just a few minutes, kicking up smoke and bits of rubber, without nicking a single cone along the course.

This behind-the-scenes explains how the car was built and how it navigates the course:

Even more details on project lead Jonathan Goh’s website. And of course they shot the whole thing overhead with a drone:

Self Driving Delorean