The idea of using a computer simulation to learn to drive may seem like something that exists in the realm of a science fiction movie or computer game. Computer simulations to mimic real-world tasks have been in constant and successful use in many industries for several years.
Pilot schools have been using flight simulators to give their students practice in handling a plane before taking a real one into the sky. Computers have also improved in capability at a fast speed, and this speed and complexity have improved the quality and abilities of computer simulations.
Professional racing teams are now implementing regular use of computer-simulated race cars to keep their drivers in shape and practice on simulated race tracks of real tracks from around the world.
Computer simulations will get more realistic as time goes on, but can they substitute for the sensation of driving out in the real world?
How Are Computer Simulations Designed
The virtual design is based on a specialized software called Multi-Body Systems Software (MBS). This software recreates the feel of being inside a vehicle and combines it with basic vehicle dynamics to form a simulation that feels as much like being inside a real vehicle as possible.
The algorithms that form the software differ based on the ultimate use of the simulator. A simulator intended for a racing team will try to emulate a racing game as much as possible. It will try to create an immersive experience for the user. This means that the user can use the same reactions and muscle memory formed in the simulator when they go on the actual road.
Simulators intended for use by car manufacturers need to represent the actual handling of the car they are attempting to build. These simulators are meant to recreate the experience of handling the car more than how it feels to be driving it on the road.
Why Are Computer Simulations So Useful
There are many factors that a pilot cannot be prepared for until they are in the sky, but piloting facilities still insist on simulator time. This is because increasing their ability to deal with what can be predicted will allow them to handle any new situation with equanimity and confidence.
This same principle applies to race simulators. A racecar driver who has driven a course on a simulator will be able to tackle the real course with a degree of confidence that someone who did not have access to a simulator will lack. The driver with simulator time is already aware of the turns and elevation. They will only need to adjust to weather conditions and such unavoidable natural elements on the day. This frees them from a lot of concerns and allows them to focus on doing their best.
Automobile manufacturers appreciate how it saves them a lot of money during the research and design phase. Designers and engineers can test the designs and applications intended for the car without having to build it from scratch.
Now that simulators can emulate the real-world driving experience so realistically, designers can even find out how the car will handle itself on the road before putting it into production.
What Is the Impact of Computer Simulations on Motor Sports
For a very long time, racing has been a very dynastic sport. It is not easy to break into it, and you need significant amounts of funding to have a shot at the races that matter. This is because the materials needed to be a race car driver require a financial commitment that not many regular people can hope to supply.
Race tracks, testing cars, and safety equipment cost a lot but are basic requirements. Sadly, this has also kept many potential fans away from the sport as they cannot casually experience it. But computer simulations in the form of highly involved video games are starting to change that.
A whole new generation of motorsport enthusiasts is coming out of the ranks of people who enjoy playing racing video and computer games. Video game companies are taking advantage of this interest by recreating well-known racetracks in their games, which generates even more interest.
Today’s fans want to feel a real connection to the sport or the drivers, and computer simulations give them the feeling of being a part of the racing world. This has been a true breath of fresh air for the sport.
Simulations are a fantastic way to learn and practice for these professionals, but they are a real benefit to regular people. Anyone can now experience the excitement of a high-speed car race or a high-flying small plane. Best of all, if anything goes wrong, we are still safe and snug inside the simulator. Computer simulations are truly the way forward.