Saturday, April 1

Toyota teaches drifting to its autonomous driving systems | Digital Trends Spanish

Controlled automotive drifting, the discipline known as drifting, made popular by The Fast and the Furious franchise film series, has taken motorsports by storm over the course of the last two decades.

This trend has not gone unnoticed by automakers, who have started incorporating drift modes into some models. These drift modes are based on the manipulation of active safety systems such as traction control, which in turn are based on the optimal distribution of torque in the wheels that are constantly monitored by sensors to know the grip that each one has. and send the desired amount of traction.

The drift mode manipulates this system creating the ideal conditions for the vehicle to skid, the driver’s skill in these conditions makes up the rest of the equation, as confirmed by hundreds of YouTube videos in which unscrupulous drivers make fools of themselves and create dangerous situations by trying to skid and lose control of their powerful vehicles in public places. It is worth remembering that this drift mode is to be used only on the tracks and causes excessive wear on brakes, tires and other vehicle components.

The Toyota Research Institute is taking drift mode technology to previously unimagined levels by creating a Supra that drifts completely autonomously without driver input. This system was achieved through manipulation of the vehicle’s semi-autonomous active safety systems.

This is not some futile exercise by Toyota to show how proficient they are at electronically manipulating their own safety systems. Toyota engineers explain in the video that the goal is to learn how to control a skid through the semi-autonomous driver assistance systems, as it is the same as controlling a true skid in dangerous limited traction situations, which in real life could save the occupants of a car from a collision with disastrous results. This is especially true in a self-driving car of the driverless future.

For now don’t expect to get a 100% autonomous drift mode Toyota Supra like the one in the video at your local Toyota dealer. Most likely it will never happen.

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