From the Super Mario Wiki, the Mario encyclopedia
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A submarine is an obstacle used in Mario Kart 8 and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. They appear in Water Park in the Sub Coaster attraction, where they are controlled by Nokis. Touching the Spin Boost Pillar underneath it causes the player to receive a Spin Boost.
A submarine is seen approaching the player when they first enter in the water. After passing by the player, there is a gate behind them that opens when the submarine approaches it. There is also one to the player's right at the end of the loop. If the player tries to enter the gate, Lakitu will pull them back onto the track. The submarine's Spin Boost Pillars retract when entering the gate and pull them out when exiting it.