The Toyota Supra has always been a driftable machine in its many previous generations, and the latest “A90” is no exception. With nearly 400 horsepower, it has no problem lighting up the rear tires, but in this instance, it’s doing it for a good cause. Yes, you can drift for more than just internet clout and traffic tickets.
Toyota’s Research Institute partnered with Stanford University to create driving technology that helps prevent accidents. Part of this technology is the advanced maneuvering of a vehicle without human intervention, and apparently, with a few tweaks to that software, it’s pretty easy to get a Supra drifting indefinitely under the control of a computer program. Or, these researchers make it look easy.
This isn’t Stanford University’s first time around the block when it comes to making self-drifting cars. Back in 2019, we covered their self-drifting Delorean going on an autonomous Gymkhana run. Clearly they’ve adapted that impressive tech into this Supra race car, but that’s not the whole story.
Toyota has been working long-term with Stanford University to teach the skills of someone like a professional drifter or racecar driver to automated vehicles. The theory is that race-winning car control combined with supercomputer speed can prevent traffic accidents. This drifting exercise is meant to make that whole process a bit more exciting, and easier to imagine.