A team of Stanford University students built a pretty impressive, tire-slaying DeLorean just in time for October 21 2015, the date Marty McFly and Doc Brown travel to the future in the "Back to the Future" movie trilogy. As a tribute to the film and the time-traveling DeLorean, the team transformed a 1981 DeLorean into an all-electric, autonomous drifting machine nicknamed MARTY.
According to Stanford News, MARTY is short for Multiple Actuator Research Test bed for Yaw control and is completely "capable of stable, precise driving at large angles."
The video below showing MARTY executing precise and smoky donuts in a parking lot is definitely proof of that. Thedrifting DeLoreanwas executed with the help of Silicon Valley-based Renovo Motors, a start-up that provided its electric vehicle platform that replaced the vintage DeLorean's gas engine. The team then made other structural improvements before adding the necessary autonomous components and software. Bridgestone graciously provided all the tires.
While the team undoubtedly enjoyed slaying many tires, Stanford News states that MARTY also provides a valuable lesson in what autonomous vehicles are capable of doing in extreme situations. Electronic Stability Control technology has proven valuable in keeping a car pointed straight towards its intended path. The Stanford team, however, argues that it's also possible to drive precisely even if the car is going sideways. Rally and drift car racers have proven that, and now so has MARTY.
Check out the video below to see just how it works.
Source: Stanford News