Although self-driving cars were once little more than an impossible aspiration, these days, you’d be hard-pressed to find an automaker without some sort of autonomous project in the works. In fact, many cars on the road already sport the necessary smarts — they’re just waiting for the tech to be activated. That being said, before we can see the widespread legalization of vehicular autonomy, there’s still one important concern we have to address: safety.
In an effort to improve the crash avoidance capabilities of autonomous vehicles, the Toyota Research Institute has teamed up with Stanford’s Dynamic Design Lab on something most of us would never have thought was possible: a self-driving Supra that can drift. Curious to see how the reflexes of professional racers would translate into cars equipped with artificial intelligence, the researchers first examined real drivers before taking their abilities digital. What results is a vehicle that could theoretically slide out of the way in order to prevent an unwanted collision. At this point, it’s just a prototype, but it’s only a matter of time before we see the technology applied to consumer vehicles.