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Thread: Proposed delay for 2015 rules to 2016

  1. #11
    Doctor Kevin Hayward,

    Instead of and/or in addition of this post why don't you address your request directly to the rules committee? Or maybe you already did....
    Claude Rouelle
    OptimumG president
    Vehicle Dynamics & Race Car Engineering
    Training / Consulting / Simulation Software
    FS & FSAE design judge USA / Canada / UK / Germany / Spain / Italy / China / Brazil / Australia

  2. #12
    Electronic throttle control is a critical enabler for a lot of our efficiency optimization (and we do work hard on that, as shown by us winning Lincoln fuel efficiency two years in a row), I wouldn't say we aren't affected by the rules changes. There's always the chance that we've been planning on 'jumping into' a largely carbon chassis, or wings, etc. And, personally, I would like to see ETC implemented before I graduate.

    Development takes a lot of time, the sooner we can get changes out the better prepared everyone will be. We've been waiting an extra year for these changes now and we're all anxious to start designing to the exact rules.
    Andrew Palardy
    Kettering University - Computer Engineering, FSAE, Clean Snowmobile Challenge
    Williams International - Commercial Turbofan Controls and Accessories

    "Sometimes, the elegant implementation is a function. Not a method. Not a class. Not a framework. Just a function." ~ John Carmack

    "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic" ~Arthur C. Clarke

  3. #13
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Perth, Western Australia
    Quote Originally Posted by Claude Rouelle View Post
    Doctor Kevin Hayward,

    Instead of and/or in addition of this post why don't you address your request directly to the rules committee? Or maybe you already did....

    I am aware of others working with the rules committee with similar goals, and have added my comments to those communications. However I think it is good to discuss the issues amongst the community, preferably openly and without hostility. I don't think I would do any better in the same position as the rule committee members. Even minor changes to the rules can have fairly large implications to some teams. I started this thread so people here could voice support or objection to the rules release schedule, providing reasons why.

    If there is consensus here then I would pass it onto the committee, although they would have likely seen it already. If the opposite is true then I would be doing the community a disservice by trying to push my view ahead of theirs.


    Summary at this stage (as far as I see it)

    - ETC guys want the change, but still have been waiting for the exact wording to get going on detailled design.
    - Some agreement that the allowable time between rules and conceptual design is too short, but noting there has been a precedent of it.
    - The suggestion that maybe the aero rules should be shifted back to enable debate, but other rules allowed
    - Definition of what the rules committee's job is with regards to steering the competition
    - Statement that the rules state major changes every 2 years, and changing them radically next year would be against the current rules. (Suggested delaying the bigger rules until 2017)
    - Suggestion to put an firm release date into the "potential changes list"

    As far as I can see nobody has expressed a preference for maintaining the late release of the rules (i.e. August).

    Steven had some great points. Maybe the approach is not to delay these particular rules, but to setup a process for making sure we don't have a repeat of this in 2-4 years time. A simple shift of rules release to say January or February of the given year would allow the overseas teams (already well into conceptual design) enough time to change path. A rules ammendment could be scheduled for August to deal with any severe safety concerns that may have been raised in the comps, but would not deal with conceptual changes.


    Dr Kevin Hayward

    Faculty Advisor
    Edith Cowan University (2008-present)
    Team member at UWA Motorsport (2001-2005)

  4. #14
    I would definitely support delaying these significant aero rules changes.

    It is unfair to expect that US teams can react to changes of this magnitude and still design and build their cars for FSAE East in only 8 months.
    Such large changes also discourage/prevent European teams from competing in Detroit next year.
    They also effectively prevent Australian teams from travelling to the US or Europe next year.
    We had no plans to travel next year, but I know that Curtin definitely did, and those plans have now been dashed.

    Teams should note, that the current rumour from the IRC (via the recent proposal) is that these aero changes will be permanent rather than rolling in a 2 year cycle.
    A permanent rule set definitely makes more sense, but only provided we get it right (or very close) the first time.
    So Steve Webb some of the problems that you identified are no longer an issue, if we don't have rolling changes.

    There has long been talk of giving teams adequate time to digest new rules before they come into effect.
    As Kev suggests, teams definitely need (and should be entitled to) 18 months notice of proposed changes.
    And not vague "suggestions" of changes, but the actual written and final rules.
    This obviously hasn't happened in this case.

    Furthermore, it makes sense for the IRC to release proposals and actively seek and take on board the suggestions of teams in this process.
    This should happen in an open and transparent way, and these forums would provide the perfect vehicle to host such discussions.
    It is silly not to leverage the experience and know how of the student and faculty community.
    It would also help to eliminate any obvious loop holes or problems from these new rules.
    I believe that the broader FSAE/FStudent community is mature and responsible enough to make constructive contributions to this process and help ensure the long term health of the competition globally.
    We are after all the biggest stakeholders/customers.
    I think teams and faculty deserve several seats at the table when these rules are decided.
    Much of the frustration with the current proposed changes stem from the lack of student input, transparency and accountability with this process.

    I should probably mention at this point that I have been in communication with the IRC, after reaching out to our local representative.
    I was only able to make this connection due to being on the FSAE Organising Committee in Australia.

    When we saw the proposed Aero rules changes I noticed some pretty big loop holes.
    Also some serious flow on effects to chassis design, driver egress, and the safety of high mounted aero devices.
    Many other teams have noticed them too.
    With input from many other local and international aero teams we developed a revised proposal.
    Given these rules would become permanent we wanted to try and get them right, whilst also minimising the immediate impact on teams designing for May 2015.
    We presented these to the IRC a week ago via our local contact.
    At this stage we are unsure how our suggestions were received and what if anything will change in the final version.

    I will start a separate thread to post these suggestions and also take feedback from the community.
    With enough support from teams there may still be a chance for the IRC to consider them.
    If changes MUST be made we think these rules are a much better compromise.

    But, as I stated up the top we really should not be making any changes this late in the piece.

    Better to keep the rules as they are for 2015 and start an open and frank discussion between the IRC and teams to properly shape any new rules for 2016, with release in Jan 2015 at the very latest.

    Last edited by Scott Monash; 08-18-2014 at 07:49 AM.

  5. #15
    It seems to me that every year the rules come out a week later than last, and that has added up considerably to our current position.

    I agree that there should be a more set-in-stone date for the rules to come out, however, January/February as many have suggested is not realistic. I would say some time, perhaps 2 weeks after FSG would be good. The IRC will never be on board with releasing rules prior to major competition, less somebody such as U of M Ann Arbor show up and make a mockery of them for two years instead of only one. In addition, you never know when a legitimate safety concern could be raised at a competition and have a need to be addressed.

    I also am not on board with a 2-year cycle. As nice as it sounds, if say, one year there were flawed aero rules (just as an example...) you are then stuck with them for another year.

    As far as delaying this year's rules: I agree with Jon that as of now the rules are not any later than previous years. If it were mid-september and we were having this debate, we would have a much more legitimate argument on our hands. Of course, by that time most teams would be out of luck either way.
    Last edited by Alumni; 08-18-2014 at 08:28 AM.

  6. #16
    Another suggestion (for aero):

    Have less strict aero rules for 2015 (with either a planned change for 2016 or keep it in the full two year cycle for a rules revision in 2017). Just because we are on a two year cycle for rules doesn't mean there can't be a change between the two years if something is flawed (directed towards Alumni's statement). However, the RC should still plan on getting a rules release out sooner. Perhaps release a draft immediately after Michigan, get input from teams, then plan for a full rules release a month later (at least by the end of June).

    Less strict aero changes (for the rear wing) could be something along the lines of keeping the height restriction but losing the width restriction or increasing the allowed width to the centerline of the tyres. Not as bad, but it could still be a big change to some teams.

    In regards to rules release date, if my memory serves me correct, in 2012 we had a rules draft (for the 2013 season) released mid Summer. This was a full rules draft, not just aero! On top of that, here is a statement in the draft:

    "This draft of the 2013 Formula SAE Rules is released for review and feedback."

    With that, the review period ended June 30th, 2012 and the final version was released August 19th, 2012. And here we are, August 18th, 2014 with only a section of a draft for the 2015 season. What happened?!?
    University of Florida - Gator Motorsports
    Project Manager (2012 - 2013)
    Electrical System Leader (2010 - 2015)
    Powertrain/Engine Tuner (2011 - 2015)

  7. #17
    I wouldn't mind if the rules were released in such a way that the above mentioned comment of testing/simulating of what the proposed effects will be along with a subjective study on how this will affect the broad field of current competitors as well as the attraction of new competitors (if applicable) rather than knee jerk reaction.

    At least 3 vehicle fires at Lincoln? Why focus on flammable material containment? That's what fire resistant materials and extinguishers are for!
    Wings that collapse at speed? Oh no, we cannot have that.
    Somebody came with a poorly designed unsprung rear wing to FSG and literally wrote "Wobble Wobble" on it... Nope, no good, might as well ban that altogether.
    2" of suspension movement, 1" bump, 1" droop? Why not 2" bump and 0"droop? Oh, dear, looks like The Department of Silly Go Karts is here. (might be digressing here a bit...)

    With the current release staging and date of the rules, rules are supposed to be static for two year intervals, but they are released when those changes are supposed to take effect. Which means rules come out in the 2015 season, that now announces changes for the 2015 season. Rules come out in August with new material in them for the competition in 8 months? Hey guys, time to scrap the car because it was just made fundamentally illegal or noncompetitive and we're already done with the frame...

    What would make more sense to me is this: the 201x rules only contain changes that will take effect two years out, in this case 2015 release changes would take effect 2017. That way there is sufficient time to plan and adjust international travel plans as well designs for future cars.

    With the current structure, We start designing our car in April-May, depending on how close the current year car is to completion. To think that we should wait until the last week of August to finally figure out our concept structure, reconsider the new possibilities of the introduction of the exact rules changes, and then start building seems pure lunacy. The past few changes haven't been that large of a concept changer for most teams, but if I understood the level of design and integration that I do now back in 2009, I might have thrown an equal fit over the template rules and the seemingly open interpretation given by the rules but relatively strict implementation by the scrutiny workers as I recall being a young lad. With this set containing some of the largest and multi-system changes seen in a long while, my team is still meeting on what to do based on what may be in the new rule set, setting up some testing to evaluate new concepts that may be given the green light here soon.

    On a semi-relaed issue that I don't want to address extensively, if much at all in this thread, but has been discussed is interaction with the RC, my experience is as follows:
    Submissions to the Rules Commitee seem to go un-replied. Having known or currently in local contact with several members on the rules committee, the members don't seem to want to discuss any possibilities other than their pet peeves of the formula rules they each have been trying to push for a while whether it be "I like the sleek cars the best, but these wings rules make them so gaudy and ostentatious; we should make them all look more like the old Stuttgart car again." or "I don't like how exotic materials have pervaded the current vehicles, so we should put more emphasis on cost, that will fix that" or "I don't think anyone is FSAE is advanced enough to know how to use things like ETC because my team wasn't when we participated and it only makes the competition more dangerous" These are things I've been in discussion about and only pulled a few I thought would get a reaction out of you guys (trying to capture the quotes as close as memory can serve) so don't think that all rules are this unfounded or whimsy, just that sometimes they are not scientifically guided.
    Last edited by MCoach; 08-18-2014 at 04:42 PM. Reason: clarity and grammah
    Kettering University Vehicle Dynamics
    Formula SAE 2010 - 2015
    Clean Snowmobile Powertrain 2012 - 2015

    Boogityland 2015 - Present

  8. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by MCoach View Post
    ...if I understood the level of design and integration that I do now back in 2009, I might have thrown an equal fit over the template rules and the seemingly open interpretation given by the rules but relatively strict implementation by the scrutiny workers as I recall...
    This just jogged my memory and brought up an interesting and perhaps very relevant concept. I don't remember the exact wording or points structure, but the year the templates were first used (2009 IIRC) they were indeed a mess, and very open to interpretation. However, whether it was because the IRC recognized this, or that teams with currently designed cars (including those overseas such as the Aussies and Germans) would have their designs immediately obsoleted, a grace period was allowed. Thus, for 2009, cars that did not pass template were allowed to run, but received a 35 point deduction in design. For 2010, all cars had to pass.

    Perhaps there could be a similar compromise this year?

    EDIT: Yes, yes here it is on page 27: http://www.mec.sojo-u.ac.jp/formula%...9fsaerules.pdf
    Last edited by Alumni; 08-18-2014 at 06:56 PM.

  9. #19
    I think some form of a delay is the best way to move towards a transparent process.

    "Clearly" it is not so.

  10. #20

    U of M - Ann Arbor did not make a "mockery" of the aero rules. They developed a system that obeyed the letter and spirit of the rules, and it worked well enough for their car to go about as fast as the rest of the front-runners at FSAE-Lincoln 2014.

    I think that a 9-month design cycle's long enough. It forces compromises in part design to meet the schedule, like any vehicle program in Detroit.
    Charles Kaneb
    Magna International
    FSAE Lincoln Design Judge - Frame/Body/Link judging area. Not a professional vehicle dynamicist.

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