Stanford University’s automotive lab unveiled its own version of MARTY recently just before “Back to the Future II” movie was released in the cinema. The MARTY from the university is basically a heavily DeLorean car which is capable of drifting but it is done without driver’s presence. Drifting is a way of driving that maintains sideways motion when the car is travelling in a circle. It is done as part of the university’s ongoing research about automotive safety and autonomous driving systems.
MARTY is an abbreviation of Multiple Actuator Research Test bed for Yaw control. It is showcased in an event in the university itself hosted by Jamie Hyneman from Mythbusters with the university’s project team, Professor Chris Gerdes and students John Goh and Shannon McClintock, as well as Chris Heiser of Renovo Motors, the company which supplies the component for the project.
A DeLorean was used and modified as the team did not want to use a car from a major automaker and it was the perfect car as the team were looking for a rear-wheel driver and mid-engine platform. The car’s original engine was removed and the steering rack was replaced with an electric power steering system and the suspension was tweaked to make it able to drift, which is something that the original DeLorean could not do.