Stanford’s self-driving, electric, drifting DeLorean – Video
When you see a Delorean getting out of the hangar and on the race track, you know something is going on. But then you get all confused since you see two guys who get in the car wearing helmets. They both look like software engineers, not to mention that one of them actually has a laptop in his hands.
But then you see the same two guys burning rubber with the DeLorean. What’s going on?
A couple of Stanford engineers have partnered up to create a science project. Wow, what a big surprise! No, really, it’s a science project. They’ve turned a 1981 DMC DeLorean into a self-driving car that runs on electricity. Did we mention it can also drift by itself?
And they did it to study how cars perform in extreme situations, which could ultimately guide the development of autonomously safety protocols.
Oh, c’mon, you can’t expect us to believe that a team of engineering geeks have created what is possibly the coolest DeLorean in town for the sake of safety. We need to take a closer look first in order to trust these people.
Chris Gerdes, a professor of mechanical engineering, and his students at Stanford decided to transform a vintage 1981 DeLorean into their newest high-performance testbed, for researching the physical limits of autonomous driving. Sure, they released the final model one day before the Back To The Future trilogy celebrated its 30th anniversary, so in a way, it’s also paying homage to the movie.
In fact, this is one of the reasons they named the vehicle MARTY – which, in fact, stands for Multiple Actuator Research Testbed for Yaw control. The name provides insight into the types of research to be carried out by the team, which has been driven primarily by Jonathan Goh, a mechanical engineering student in Gerdes’ Dynamic Design Lab (DDL).
It was not just the team of scientists from Stanford who worked hard to make this Time Machine spin and burn rubber by itself, though. MARTY was built in collaboration with Renovo Motors, an automotive start-up based in Silicon Valley that specializes in making advanced electric vehicle technology.
Feel like you need to know more about it? Check out the adjacent press release and don’t forget to watch the video.