Supplier Spotlight

Show Reviews

Automotive Testing Expo Europe 2017 Show Review

Click here to read

 

Automotive Testing Expo Europe 2016 Show Review

Click here to read

 

Automotive Testing Expo Europe 2015 Show Review

Click here to read

 

Automotive Testing Expo North America 2014 Show Review

Click here to read

 

Automotive Testing Expo India 2014 Show Review

Click here to read

 

Latest Video


Train, test and validate deep learning autonomous driving

LV

This tutorial from rFpro explains how to create digital road models of public test routes from kinetic lidar, followed by a live demonstration of the main features in rFpro for testing deep learning autonomous driving

Click here to watch the video


Autonomous Trap 001

LV

An artist demonstrates how a circle of salt could be used to trap an autonomous vehicle. This lighthearted exercise – which highlights the current limitations of the technology – is meant to signify the raft of potential challenges developers of AVs are yet to overcome

Click here to watch the video

As the automotive world moves towards autonomous vehicles, is the value of motorsport as a trickle-down technology proving ground becoming less relevant?

Industry Opinion

« back to blog listings

Observation is key

As engineers we are sometimes tasked with conducting an assessment and providing recommendations regarding a situation we are not directly familiar with. And as professionals with good training, insight and experience, our recommended solutions can often help to resolve the issue at hand. But is it an optimal solution?

I have had a significant amount of technical experience in designing, developing and operating off-road vehicles, but last summer I attended an extreme off-road competition just outside Moscow, Russia, called Motive Gear Challenge, that helped me relearn the lesson that, though physics is constant around the world, a particular combination of environment, conditions and available resources can be totally unique.

I’ve been to a variety of competitive events but this Motive Gear Challenge was different from what I had seen before and the solutions vehicle builders applied were genuinely intriguing. The race consisted of four laps around a 5km obstacle course, to be completed in a maximum time of four hours. The competing vehicles ranged from Soviet-era 4x4 utility vehicles to Suzukis, Toyotas, Jeep Cherokees and Wranglers.

The drivers weren’t allowed to preview the course, meaning their specific knowledge was minimized. The start of the race was similar to a motorcycle motorcross start where all vehicles started abreast and raced to the first corner. However, the first ‘corner’ was a severe obstacle with room for three vehicles at most. And it was here where the fun really started.

The first vehicles got stuck and the winch-man was required to go out to do his duty. This was when unique engineering solutions become apparent. With no nearby trees, aluminum plow-style boat anchors came out and were hauled up ahead of the vehicles to set the winch line. The vehicles didn’t have a winch in the front, just in the rear to minimize weight. The front fairlead was served by a tube passing along the center of the chassis with the line inside. This meant one winch but two solutions – one line out the front and a doubled line with a pulley block for the rear. Meanwhile, everybody was jockeying for position, squeezing each other’s space and preventing other vehicles from taking running approaches at the obstacle. It made for great entertainment! And that was just the first obstacle.

Farther into the lap, a deep water ford challenged the operators and vehicles. And by deep, I mean deeper than a driver’s chest. Again, this made for yet more spectator fun. I walked from one obstacle to the next as the vehicles worked their way along. In the ford, some vehicles sank immediately and others floated for a while. The engines had roof-high snorkels and most were mechanical diesels not dependent on electrics, though there were still electrics in the form of alternators, starters, lights and winches. The controls for these devices were on the roofs of the vehicles, which were hopefully the last to get submerged. Axles, drivetrains and components were all pressurized to help keep water out.

Other obstacles consisted of wet forest and bogs, log crossings and steep descents where, once committed, the vehicles slid uncontrollably to the bottom if not winched down. It’s obvious that a premium was placed on radiator protection, ground clearance, low tire forces and traction. Home-brewed central tire inflation systems were common and combined with the pressurization systems to minimize mechanisms.

To me, it seemed like people were competing in a foreign environment, imbuing a “you race what you have” attitude. However, as I researched further, I learned this kind of terrain was actually not far off some of the operating environments experienced out there.

I came away from Motive Gear Challenge with a new-found appreciation and healthy respect for the challenges of off-road travel in Russia. It also reminded me that seeing a new challenge for yourself provides a much better understanding of it and can help suggest a more optimal solution.

 

Comments:

There are currently no comments.

If you would like to post a comment about this blog, please click here.
Read Latest Issue
Read Latest Issue
RECEIVE THE
LATEST NEWS


Your email address:



Web Exclusives

SEAT uses HBM autonomous DAQ system

SEAT and Polytechnic University of Catalonia (BarcelonaTech) have jointly developed a unique data acquisition enabling more precise control over instrumented parts and the entire data acquisition process  
Click here to read more



Modern calculation management

The engineering department at Hitachi Construction Truck Manufacturing is taking steps to improve its rigid-frame hauling truck design through improving its analysis tools
Click here to read more



Traveling in a Volkswagen that is still to be developed

Volkswagen Group’s IT Virtual Engineering Lab has developed a virtual concept car using digital future technology
Click here to read more



The importance of software engineering

Tier 1 supplier GKN’s software and electronics manager, Michael Schomisch, discusses how software development is becoming increasingly important in vehicle testing
Click here to read more



Daimler reveals how the GLC F-Cell went from testing to production

With the Mercedes GLC F-Cell SUV unveiled at Frankfurt this week, Daimler has revealed the extensive testing process the first production plug-in hydrogen-powered car was put through
Click here to read more




Supplier Spotlight

Supplier SpotlightClick here for listings and information on leading suppliers covering all aspects of the automotive testing industry. Want to see your company included? Contact jason.sullivan@ukimediaevents.com for more details.

فروشگاه اینترنتی فروشگاه اینترنتی سیستم همکاری در فروش ماهواره آنلاین اندروید کانال تلگرام چت روم دانلود فیلم فروشگظ;ه اینترنتی

Submit your industry opinion

Industry BlogDo you have an opinion you'd like to share with the automotive testing community? Good or bad, we'd like to hear your views and opinions on the leading issues shaping the industry. Share your comments by sending up to 500 words to john.thornton@ukimediaevents.com

Advertising

Recruitment AdTo receive information on booking an advertising banner please email jason.sullivan@ukimediaevents.com