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NASA's Amazing Drifting Electric Buggy

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Nice ride, Houston.

As if astronauts didn't already boast one of the coolest jobs on the planet (so to speak), NASA has just made the careers of spacemen all the more enviable with the unveiling of this: the Modular Robotic Vehicle prototype. 

Developed at NASA’s Johnson Space Center, Houston, the MRV prototype is something of an engineering showboating project, demonstrating "advance technologies that have applications for future vehicles both in space and on Earth". That's right - they made it with a mind for use on urban streets as well as lunar drives. 

Driven by a fly-by-wire system (all electronics, so no pedals or gear sticks), the MRV has "e-corner" wheels, which can change direction and speed independently. This allows the driver to drift, swerve and pull a variety of moves that would be the envy of the muscle-heavy Fast & Furious crew.

On-board batteries see the MRV's electric motors pump out speeds of 70kmph over a total distance of 100km, so while the parking abilities are undeniably impressive, the prototype is some way off challenging Tesla's electric fleet. NASA described the experience of driving the vehicle as being akin to "driving on ice but having complete control". And, should that sound a little uncomfortable, you can always program it to drive itself.

Your move, Google.

[Via: The Verge]

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