Sim brain.

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godlameroso
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Sim brain.

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We know that as technology improves simulators become more and more important for teams. We know that teams can use simulators to set up the car, drivers can get a general feel for a new track layout. The simulator becomes a training tool, one which I feel drivers themselves are using to perfect their craft.

Our senses are not perfect, our vision is often prone to illusions, the rest of our senses that we use to drive a car aren't perfect, a lot of the blanks are filled in by our brain based on our anticipation. Yet our senses are good enough to let us drive extremely fast cars with millimeter precision. Simulators in kind are not perfect simulations of reality, our brains are forced to fill in more blanks, the sense of proprioception has to be imagined by the driver to an extent, g-forces, grip levels have limited feedback compared to real life. However, given their limitations I feel that simulators are still good enough to help drivers improve.

There is a two way feedback, the driver driving the real car on track creates a baseline for the driver to compare to the virtual car. The driver learns the real car, and applies what he learns to the virtual car, which in turn(if the simulation is good) can teach the driver a few things about the real car because you can instantly try things with a simulator that you couldn't in real life. I think this phenomena is more pronounced with the latest generation of drivers that grew up playing sim games. That driving both virtual and real cars reinforce each other in a feedback loop, you learn the limitations of both, and since your brain can fill in the blanks of your partial senses, it stands to reason that your brain can also bridge the gap between simulation and reality if a driver practices enough.

I think this phenomena is a reason that the new breed of drivers has so much potential, their brains have been wired to understand both reality and simulation, after all both reality and simulation are after the same goal, to drive a car as fast as possible.
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jh199
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Re: Sim brain.

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It's an interesting point, definitely. I've thought for a few years now that we will see a peak in driver skill in a decade or two from now. The drivers nowadays are incredible but with the refinement of simulation tools and even racing video games, drivers will just get better.

Let's just compare Lewis Hamilton (One of the greatest drivers in history) against a hypothetical kid born today. Lewis started carting with limited resources at 8 years old. He had a second hand cart, limited financial resourses, and perhaps most importantly, limited track time. No matter how good you are in a go-kart, you cant practice as much as you'd like. Also, being a kid, he could only drive carts. Different cars have different driving characteristics that he couldnt possibly have been exposed to until late in his career. Now compare this to a normal kid born today. The kid could start driving from what? 3, 4 years old? Theres basically no danger in home sim driving so let the kid drive as soon as they reach the pedals. If they love it, they can practice all day long on different tracks, in different cars. A kid driving a home sim today would likely have more driving skill than even the best karters. Then expose the kid to the real world of karts. The kid would dominate.

So not only does this new breed of drivers have the brains to understand both reality and simulations, but they have near unlimited resources to refine their craft. Max Verstappen and Lando Norris both use home sims all the time and both have said that they think the use of home sims has helped them improve their driving. And they grew up with driving sims from a decade ago that are jokes compared to the tech available today. Now imagine that they were raised today, when home sims are extremely accurate and relatively inexpensive. I fully expect the coming generations of drivers to sweep the floor with the existing talent on the grid. Its a strange, and awesome, time we're living in

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PlatinumZealot
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Re: Sim brain.

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Simulations and games generally encourages flexible thinking even in cases of limited sesnory input. So I can see games/sims helping but are not necessarily gonna make a driver better than one who does not do sims/games.

This is like in track and field... They say if you want to be a great100m guy... train 100m... Great 400m guy.. the same. Great 5k guy.. The same.. Training to be good at different distances wont make you a master at the distance u compete at..You would be more rounded of an athlete that is for sure... But each distance requires specific skills that are not fully accessible in other distances. For racing.. I guess actual in the car skills are not fully accessible in a sim and vice-versa.
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Greg Locock
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Re: Sim brain.

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Our latest simulator is being used for subjective assessment of handling and steering feel, replacing tuning work on the test track.

nzjrs
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Re: Sim brain.

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I think it's simpler. It is possible and it costs nothing to train thousands of hours on a Sim. Even if simulators are not perfect representations of reality, it's all about the number of practice hours baby (or at least with sufficient hours one approaches their full innate potential)

(the temptation for the youth to think their brains are different to the last 10s or so generations is strong, but not evolutionarily plausible. It's just normal plasticity plus practice plus likely a larger talent pool as practice costs go to zero)

V12-POWER
V12-POWER
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Re: Sim brain.

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this is because modern cars allow it, the same happens in other areas not directly comparable to F1

for example truckers. They can hop on a simulator and switch back to real life and notice a improvement in maneuvering (for example)

This is because modern trucks have all that’s necessary to make it fit within the skills of a sim trucker. Super powerful hydraulic steering, automatic boxes, super powerful engines, sensors, etc.

If you want to “divide” the line sim/real life then you necessarily need to go back to older/harsher tech. Or ban sim racing for drivers buts that’s pretty much impossible

Add a manual box, remove power steering, remove complex electronics and it only then the cars will be out of the sim racing “window”

sims should help in crafting ones skill at a very basic level and that’s it. Nowadays it’s undeniable that they go much deeper than just basic skills

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El Scorchio
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Re: Sim brain.

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Wasn’t there a kid a few years ago who got a place in a car in Le Mans through sim driving? So I guess it is happening to an extent. If it has the power to bring people from all walks of life and backgrounds into motorsport then it’s only a good thing. One day it’ll be almost imperceptible from reality.

Just_a_fan
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Re: Sim brain.

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Simulators are great but they are just that - simulations. There's a big difference between driving a simulator, even a very good one, and driving a real car on a real track. The real thing exposes you to vibrations, to g-loadings, etc. that all impact on your ability to function. Simulators are great for learning systems, learning tracks etc. (although most racing drivers can learn a track in only a handful of laps, so that part isn't that important). The simulator allows the teams to try things before they commit them to the track.

Ultimately, a driver has to be able to drive the real car in real conditions. Big difference sitting in a comfy air conditioned room and sitting in a real car in high temperatures with high humidity and exposed to high physical forces. I guess that's why some "decent but not earth-shattering" drivers end up being employed to drive simulators for teams.
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Tim.Wright
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Re: Sim brain.

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V12-POWER wrote:
Thu Oct 15, 2020 11:49 pm
Add a manual box, remove power steering, remove complex electronics and it only then the cars will be out of the sim racing “window”
Removing active systems actually makes the simulation job wayyyyy easier.
Not the engineer at Force India

wesley123
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Re: Sim brain.

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It really is an interesting subject to look at, and to think about.

Advantages in computing has made motorsports accessible to much more people. This becomes even more apparent if you compare it to any other sport; you can't properly simulate soccer, hockey etc., or even closer, motorbikes.
With cars becoming more computer controlled this also blurs the line more between simulation and reality.

Of course there are still things that can't be properly simulated, and possibly never will be. But as these youngsters learn the art of racing at a much more accessible and safe environment(you don't risk killing yourself in a simulation) and at a much younger age, they have to spend much less time in real life learning this art; this leaves them with much more time to perfect the things that can't be simulated, and everything around it.

These guys have also learned a lot on setups, probably much more than drivers would do that have learned their craft in the real world. This would make building the 'perfect' car much more possible.
"Bite my shiny metal ass" - Bender

Greg Locock
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Re: Sim brain.

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Tim.Wright wrote:
Fri Oct 16, 2020 12:26 pm

Removing active systems actually makes the simulation job wayyyyy easier.
All of our sims are HiL (Hardware in the loop) or SiL, which are black boxes that emulate the hardware. The main purpose of these sims is tuning these items, because we've already dialled in the basic handling of the vehicle using normal techniques. That is, I'd be a bit leery of using the sim to tune spring rates, or tire pressures, but quite happy to stuff around with epas torque tables. I did hear that one team was using the steering sim to evaluate tires, but I haven't seen a comparison with track results.

V12-POWER
V12-POWER
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Re: Sim brain.

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Tim.Wright wrote:
Fri Oct 16, 2020 12:26 pm
V12-POWER wrote:
Thu Oct 15, 2020 11:49 pm
Add a manual box, remove power steering, remove complex electronics and it only then the cars will be out of the sim racing “window”
Removing active systems actually makes the simulation job wayyyyy easier.
I doubt you can simulate an unsynchronized box on your average sim build

I’m not talking about the sims used by teams which are made to be as close as possible to their real life counterparts, cause drivers don’t have unlimited time to practice on these

i also don’t think it’s a matter of how easy it is to simulate, its rather how close it is to real life

On paper karts are way easier to simulate rather than a F1 car, yet there is no sim that comes close to real life. Real karts not rentals

Kartkraft is the only I can think of but even then it feels odd, not comparable to the real thing and it’s nowhere on the level of other serious simulators

Greg Locock
Greg Locock
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Re: Sim brain.

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"karts are way easier to simulate rather than a F1 car"

That's an interesting statement. There's fewer bits, but far more interaction. Now, if you were to put a proper suspension in then I might agree with you, but until then you are 90% reliant on the tire model.

Jolle
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Re: Sim brain.

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I think computergames in general are making drivers faster, not just sims. It’s all about hand-eye “fastness”. They see a car rotating sooner then they can feel it. Plus, the adaptability to train muscle memories fast.
“In the good old days” drivers were competing in several championships at once,,racing around the clock every weekend. In a period after that, we had unlimited testing where the top drivers were in the car most days of the week. So, nothing changed that much actually.

V12-POWER
V12-POWER
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Re: Sim brain.

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Greg Locock wrote:
Mon Oct 19, 2020 11:32 pm
"karts are way easier to simulate rather than a F1 car"

That's an interesting statement. There's fewer bits, but far more interaction. Now, if you were to put a proper suspension in then I might agree with you, but until then you are 90% reliant on the tire model.
I never said that they were easier. ON PAPER they are easier, practice proves otherwise

it’s not “just” tire model, there are a lot of things chassis wise that do affect handling. Different brands need different setups and even driving styles, drive a kart with an OTK frame then a kart with a Birel ART frame then tell me what you feel, none of this goes into any kart simulator.

Another big, big reason why it’s much harder to simulate the real thing is because of the posture needed for proper driving which you will never ever get on a sim

Even more so because it’s a personal aspect as everyone is different in body shape. This is because
a) you’re not strapped to anything
b) you’re half or more than half the total weight, so a crucial aspect in handling too

So it’s impossible to learn that in some corners it’s better to let your body push to the outside and in others it’s better to stay tighter playing a simulator