A 2021 Toyota GR Supra has reportedly been taught to autonomously drift, as part of a collaborative project between Stanford University’s Dynamic Design Lab (DDL) and the Toyota Research Institute (TRI).
According to a joint mission statement, the research ultimately aims to improve the evasive capabilities of autonomous driving technology in road vehicles.
Gill Pratt, TRI CEO and Chief Scientist at Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC), said: “Every day, there are deadly vehicle crashes that result from extreme situations where most drivers would need superhuman skills to avoid a collision.”
“The reality is that every driver has vulnerabilities, and to avoid a crash, drivers often need to make manoeuvres that are beyond their abilities," he added.
"Through this project, TRI will learn from some of the most skilled drivers in the world to develop sophisticated control algorithms that amplify human driving abilities and keep people safe."
The program reportedly draws upon the findings of the 2020 research paper “Opening New Dimensions: Vehicle Motion Planning and Control using Brakes while Drifting,” in which Stanford engineers demonstrated advanced drifting in an electrified and automated variant of the DeLorean DMC, nicknamed MARTY.
In is unclear how long it will take for such technology to filter through into consumer products, however the engineering team say it will be shared "broadly so that Toyota and other auto manufacturers can deploy it on the road."
In showroom-specification guise, the 2021 GR Supra features a 3.0-litre turbocharged inline-six petrol engine, sending 285kW of power and 500Nm of torque to the rear wheels through an eight-speed automatic transmission.
Toyota claims a 0-100km/h time of 4.1 seconds.