The authors present a controller that achieves autonomous drifting using only onboard inertial sensors. Related studies have achieved autonomous drift in passenger or RC cars using motion capture systems or a differential GPS. These systems provide very accurate measurements of position and velocity, but require infrastructure that constrains the location of the experiment.

The proposed design uses only IMU, encoders and camera for state estimation. A state feedback controller uses a single rigid body bicycle model to capture the vehicle dynamics, and the Pajecka tire model to capture the tire forces. We validate the control technique with an open source, low cost 1/10 scale RC vehicle developed at UC Berkeley.