No hands, all smiles.

We like drifting, and we also like the 2021 Toyota GR Supra. A video featuring both of those things is sure to be a crowd-pleaser, and that’s before I mention the best part: The car drifted by itself.

This isn’t a prank, either. The Toyota Research Institute put the stunt together, in an effort to better link the relationship between sharp driving reflexes and autonomous systems. Or, as their website puts it:

“The engineers are conducting research into how to bring together the instincts of professional drivers and automated driving technology. Their goal is to design a new level of active safety technology and share it broadly so that Toyota and other auto manufacturers can deploy it on the road.”

And while this was done for scientific purposes, there is no denying that it is totally awesome. Watch the video to see a highly modified Supra, complete with an ultra-wide body kit and huge rear wing, tackle a closed course, and immediately spin into a huge smokey drift. Although there is a driver in the seat, the in-car cameras show the autonomous computers working the handbrake and steering wheel. Once things are really in motion, the driver even sticks their hand out the window, offering a peace sign to everyone watching.

Apart from the obvious fun factor, this robo-drift could very well lead to better autonomous tech. It’s not hard to see how the razor-sharp instincts of drifters could be a worthwhile addition to any car that will need to avoid collisions or change course quickly on its own. The reality of autonomous cars is getting closer each year, so expect to see more videos like this in the not so distant future. And who knows, maybe an autonomous drift mode will soon be part of Toyota’s active safety suite. 

Gallery: Toyota GR Supra Sport Top concept

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