Stanford Engineers Build Self-Driving DeLorean That Drifts and Does Doughnuts - NBC 10 Philadelphia

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Stanford Engineers Build Self-Driving DeLorean That Drifts and Does Doughnuts



    "Roads? Where we're going, we don't need roads," claimed Doc Brown in "Back to the Future."

    Engineers at Stanford's Revs Program are paying homage to the hit film franchise just in time for "Back to the Future" Day. They've taken a vintage 1981 DeLorean, just like the one in the film, and tricked it out. It doesn't fly, unfortunately, but it does run on electricity and drive itself. 

    Perhaps most impressively they've trained the DeLorean, nicknamed MARTY, to use a drifting technique for negotiating those sharp corners.

    It's a fitting technological achievement now that we've reached Oct. 21, 2015 – the date Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) and Doc Brown (Christopher Lloyd) travel forward in time to in "Back to the Future Part II."

    The software the car uses to drive itself is similar to those from Google and Tesla. But the Stanford team is focusing more on training autonomous cars to handle "extreme situations."

    So while yes, we still needs roads, MARTY is doing its best to tear them up - with doughnuts.

    "The sublime awesomeness of riding in a DeLorean that does perfect, smoke-filled doughnuts by itself is a mind-bending experience that helps you appreciate that we really are living in the future," Stanford engineer Jonathan Goh said in a statement.

    MARTY - short for Multiple Actuator Research Test bed for Yaw control (and perhaps not coincidentally also the name of Fox's character in the film series) - was built in collaboration with Renovo Motors, a Silicon Valley-based start-up that specializes in building advanced electric vehicle technology.