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Thread: New Efficiency event

  1. #1
    I am wondering about the logic of changing the Economy event into the Efficiency event for this year. This seems to have the effect of rewarding speed twice in the same event as the fastest cars already get a huge amount of points in the endurance portion. Any insight or comments.
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  2. #2
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    The way I think about this issue is that under economy scoring, if two cars use the same volume of fuel, they will receive the same fuel score, even if one covers the distance much faster. The car that completed the distance faster clearly made better use of the same volume of fuel. This is not reflected in economy scoring and thus the change to efficiency.

    I agree that efficiency scoring has the effect of rewarding speed twice, but if the goal is to award fuel points for the best use of fuel, then efficiency seems to be a better metric.
    Chris Patton
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  3. #3
    Additionally, we saw an undesired effect especially in the electric category last year, being very fuel efficient gave you more overall points than being a bit faster. That lead to the endurance resembling the shell eco marathon for the electric vehicles... And that's not really the point in having a race ;-)
    Lutz Dobrowohl
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  4. #4
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    As I see it a couple of years ago the maximum points for fuel were increased from 50 to 100 points due to political reasons. The same time endurance score was reduced from 350 to 300. Like this the weighing speed vs. fuel consumption changed significantly. The change to the efficiency scoring again changes that weighing in the other direction without changing the maximum score of the disciplines.

    As Lutz already said, if fuel consumption is weighed too heavily you have the very undesired effect that teams drive slowly to save fuel. That's not what building a race car should be about.
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  5. #5
    Even if it takes speed into account twice I still think efficiency scoring better resembles which car is the most economical. It describes how well the energy was put to use, not just the amount of it.
    "...when this baby hits 88 miles per hour... you're gonna see some serious shit" - Dr. Brown

  6. #6
    It makes much more sense in the scope of our competition to do it this way. The point of FSAE is to design and build a racecar, not an economy car. The way it is scored now it doesn't reward slow cars that use less fuel. This fits with the idea that the dynamic events exist to find the fastest cars.

    Other than for creating a design challenge I don't see the need for this event in the first place. If the point is to build a weekend auto-x car the customer base doesn't care if they need to spend an extra $3 on a gallon of fuel. So I am a little biased.

  7. #7
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    Well the old AutoX-racer discussion is obsolete anyway (if I'm not completely wrong, it was taken out of the rules two or three years ago).
    In a design competition like this, I think it makes sense to say, if two cars do similar lap times but one is using significantly less fuel, that's the one which is designed better from an engineer's point of view.
    In real life motorsports fuel economy is rewarded by the possibility to build smaller fuel tanks or doing less pit stops than the opponents. Because of the rather short endurance distance, this isn't the case in FSAE (at least for comustion cars).
    Long story short: I wouldn't doubt that scoring fuel consumption in general makes sense in the context of FSAE, but the weighing has to be considered vary carefully to avoid undesired effects as teams will think very carefully about what is the way to go to score as high as possible.
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