Look out, Tesla! NASA’s Johnson Space Center has just entered the race for the coolest car with some truly awesome technological advancements. NASA engineers recently unveiled their Modular Robotic Vehicle prototype, which boasts four independent wheels and a remote-control mode that allows it to essentially drive itself. While it is admittedly not the sleekest-looking vehicle on this planet, looking more akin to golf cart than other electric cars on the market, it has a slew of smart features that may inspire other car makers to get back to the drawing board.
The vehicle has motors on each wheel, so they can move independently. Each of the four motors is liquid-cooled and designed for “drifting,” a motorway sport involving letting a car slide on a turn. The vehicle also has remote control capabilities and dynamic driver feedback. Not only is the vehicle capable of helping us explore new worlds (and new civilizations) but it can do a “seriously sweet drift.” Because it’s remote-controlled, astronauts might be able to drive it to places that might not be safe for them to explore or to give them insight into an area before they go there.
The video above shows everything you need to know. The driver seems to fly around a grassy island on a vehicle that looks like a golf cart outfitted with a souped-up zero-turn radius lawn mower. He parks it like a pro (well, he probably is a pro) between two parked cars. And while we doubt that there’s a lot of parallel parking to be done on Mars, this vehicle could advance the way car makers design electric cars in the future.
Images via NASA