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Futurecar...

Discussion in 'Tracking & Driver Education' started by 134282, May 23, 2009.

  1. 134282

    134282 Four Time F1 World Champ
    BANNED

    Aug 3, 2002
    40,647
    California
    Full Name:
    Carbon McCoy
    Just caught an episode of a program called Futurecar on the Science channel. The episode focused on virtual reality and 3D software that allows designers to also function as engineers.

    I found the virtual reality aspect especially intriguing, because they alluded to the possibility of one day being able to drive a car sensorially from the comfort of your own home. If this is possible - and I assume it will be one day - will this inevitably lead to realistic racing simulation...? Video games suck - there's not a single video game that can simulate driving realistically.

    But what about virtual reality...? Will this allow people, who otherwise couldn't, to practice racing...? It costs money to go racing; track time, tires, brakes, equipment, repairs, education, etc. But what if you could practice from your living room...? What if you could spend eight or more hours each day practicing apex entering and exiting, braking, accelerating and more...? If you can feel acceleration, traction, torque, and if you can visually and physically experience changes and mistakes, then wouldn't this form of practice be valid...?
     
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  3. ishan4488

    ishan4488 Formula Junior

    Feb 8, 2009
    327
    Bangalore, India
    Full Name:
    Ishan Rastogi
    Maybe these concepts become valid one day but I assume with virtual reality there will be a loss in originality and driving won't remain much of a fun.
    I have used simulators for driving and the experience isn't even worth mentioning. What I realized was that there are plenty of things that one looks for while driving and imitating them is really difficult and impractical.
     
  4. cgh1

    cgh1 Formula Junior

    Nov 5, 2003
    375
    Charlotte, NC
    Full Name:
    Chuck Hawks
    Certainly driving/race simulation looks really good but that's only part of the equation. A good friend of mine actually owns the patent on moving platform driving simulation, and has owned it for years. Unfortunately, there are several large companies that have grossly violated her patent with no regard for her and SMS een told her straight to her face that they didn't want to partner with her, if they wanted the technology, they'd just steal it... and did. But that's another topic for another day...

    To accurately create the kinesthetic (feel) part of driving associated with X, Y, & Z axis g-loading requires very expensive and space-hogging technology. Our first design involved a centrifuge until NASA talked us out of it. They said that although a centrifuge is a relatively simple platform, it tends to stay broken; not to mention the amount of physical space required to house one. We later moved to a design that kind of uses a micro-sized centrifuge along with belt tensioners and other tech to reproduce the sensation of movement and g-loading. That's not where it stops though. For closed cockpit cars, to be accurate there's also heat (lots of it), sound (loud) from all directions, and bars & safety equipment that physically intrudes the space of the driver. We have designs to address all of these and have had conversations with several of the top tech companies that provide what is seen as the best available on partnering but all seem scared of two things - the $ needed to accurately create the kinesthetic part, and potential of pissing off the NASCAR bigwigs who are blatently violating our patent through taking legal action towards them. Most attorneys we've spoken with about the latter have turned us down for fear of angering a potential client. Total crap...

    Cost of R&D to physically create our design, which would make racing so much safer around practice and car development (change parts, adjustments, tires, etc. in the virtual world to gain real data to make accurate real-world decisions, would be close to $8M. The product would sell for much less once implemented, but would still run over $1M each.

    Not exactly something many people are going to have in their living room. But something that every race team should have in their shops! Patent or no, eventually this technology will become commonplace and make a huge difference in racing. I don't; however, feel it will ever replace the actual activity of racing, as the risk of racing is part of what makes it attractive.

    Cheers & C U @ d'Track!!
    C

    Chuck Hawks,
    Pro-Driver, Coach, Instructor & Facilitator
    DreamsFulfilled, LLC & rEvolution Performance Driving System ©
     
  5. 134282

    134282 Four Time F1 World Champ
    BANNED

    Aug 3, 2002
    40,647
    California
    Full Name:
    Carbon McCoy
    Chuck, I don't want it to, or think it will, replace the actual activity of racing, au contraire, there is no reward without risk. Racing is the greatest sport ever conceived. I was just wondering if the technology would alter how people practice, and if it would broaden the scope of worthy drivers.

    Your post, as always, was excellent, thank you. I'm sorry to learn of your friend's trouble with immoral competitors; I hope she's rectified soon.


    Ishan, I'm intrigued by your last statement. What do drivers look for while driving that may not be replicable in a virtual reality simulation...?
     

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