How does advanced driving deal with a modern manual gearbox

Technology in driving is becoming more dominant...
waremark
Posts: 583
Joined: Fri Oct 02, 2015 9:23 am

How does advanced driving deal with a modern manual gearbox

Postby waremark » Sun Dec 20, 2015 12:13 am

Forgive me for a long post.

I spent a few weeks driving my son's Porsche GT4. This has shift indicators and a switchable autoblip system. The shift indicators tell you to change up from 5th to 6th just under 30, reducing the revs from 1,400 to 1,200. I think the system is probably set to tell you to change up whenever the revs in the new gear will be at least 1,200, so long as you are not accelerating firmly. I never saw it tell me to change down.

The car has enough torque that it does not struggle in the recommended rev regime, and gentle acceleration is possible. However, you probably won't be surprised that I ignored the shift indicators, and often chose a more flexible gear than the system would have recommended. Is that compatible with advanced driving, which at least pays lip service to economical driving?

And now the autoblip system. When switched on, this system blips the revs as you change down into a lower gear. It gives a great sounding blip to a perfectly matched rev level for the new gear. If you complete the gear change and let the clutch out quickly you achieve a great sounding and perfectly rev matched gear change. Two questions arise: do you use the system at all, and if you do how and when do you change gear.

On the first, do you use the system at all, again you probably won't be surprised that I didn't. One of the main reasons that I enjoy driving a manual car is that I enjoy the challenge of accurate rev matching. If I am going to let the computer rev match for me then I might as well drive a car without a clutch pedal - and having had the privilege recently of driving a GT3 RS (dual clutch only available) as well as the GT4, I would say that I found the otherwise less special GT4 more enjoyable precisely because of the manual gearbox. However, I have to confess that however good my rev matching is, it is not as perfect nor as sonorous as the computer's autoblip; so I have to ask myself whether it is advanced to switch off a brilliant driving aid available in the car.

Now the question of how you use the system, if you decide to do so. To benefit from the system's accurate rev matching, you don't want to have your foot on the accelerator when you change down - otherwise you are interfering with the system. I normally change down according to the System after completing the speed phase of the system, and when I am ready to pick up the drive in the new gear. With autoblip, I felt you obtained the best results by changing down during the speed phase while slowing for a hazard, not waiting until you are ready to go back on the accelerator. I found autoblip works best if you don't separate brakes from gears. So if you do decide to use the system, what would be the advanced way to use it?

(By the way, I took a Rospa retest in the GT4. I explained the system to the examiner, and left it switched off as normal. He did not make any comment about it).

waremark
Posts: 583
Joined: Fri Oct 02, 2015 9:23 am

Re: How does advanced driving deal with a modern manual gearbox

Postby waremark » Sun Dec 20, 2015 12:15 am

By the way, if you come up with good ideas to suggest about how to drive the GT4 and I want to try them out, I will have to decide whether I can cope with driving the car again now my son has 'chavified' it:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AQqmymJQshc

chriskay
Posts: 112
Joined: Mon Sep 28, 2015 2:08 pm
Location: Shrewsbury

Re: How does advanced driving deal with a modern manual gearbox

Postby chriskay » Sun Dec 20, 2015 12:48 am

Mark; if you should refuse to drive it again, you would have my support.
Carpe diem

WhoseGeneration
Posts: 335
Joined: Tue Sep 29, 2015 5:02 pm

Re: How does advanced driving deal with a modern manual gearbox

Postby WhoseGeneration » Sun Dec 20, 2015 1:09 am

Only stuff programmed by some humans, that another human might not want to use it or apply it differently is of no consequence.
I'm losing the will to live with this ever more reliance upon and belief in the capability of technology.

User avatar
akirk
Posts: 1495
Joined: Sun Sep 27, 2015 6:58 pm
Location: Cotswolds

Re: How does advanced driving deal with a modern manual gearbox

Postby akirk » Sun Dec 20, 2015 9:47 am

I have mixed views...

AD is partly about challenging ourselves to drive better (less aids please) and partly about the driving outcome (more aids) please... So the ability to choose is ideal, and the quality f the car's autoblip gives you a target to practise against!

The added chav is not as bad as expected, though I think I preferred the original exhaust, the new one on tick over sounds like a diesel!

Alasdair

Carbon Based
Posts: 53
Joined: Tue Sep 29, 2015 8:52 pm
Location: London

Re: How does advanced driving deal with a modern manual gearbox

Postby Carbon Based » Sun Dec 20, 2015 11:11 am

waremark wrote:I found autoblip works best if you don't separate brakes from gears. So if you do decide to use the system, what would be the advanced way to use it?

From someone who loves the PDK, and is trying very hard to not overlap brakes and gears as it is sequential (no block changes) and so easy to do, my first thought would be to not fight it.

Isn't it a bit like being offered the equivalent of a perfect heel & toe down change every time - something that wouldn't normally be acceptable as it would be covering a deficiency in timing & planing?

waremark wrote:(By the way, I took a Rospa retest in the GT4. I explained the system to the examiner, and left it switched off as normal. He did not make any comment about it).


Where's the fun in that? Could you go back and do it again with the system switched on please and overlap every thing as above? ;)

waremark
Posts: 583
Joined: Fri Oct 02, 2015 9:23 am

Re: How does advanced driving deal with a modern manual gearbox

Postby waremark » Sun Dec 20, 2015 11:17 am

Carbon Based wrote:
waremark wrote:(By the way, I took a Rospa retest in the GT4. I explained the system to the examiner, and left it switched off as normal. He did not make any comment about it).


Where's the fun in that? Could you go back and do it again with the system switched on please and overlap every thing as above? ;)

:D

Trouble maker!

Or perhaps leave the system switched off and overlap it all with H & T?

Not willing to risk my Gold. He wouldn't have liked it.

User avatar
Horse
Posts: 2005
Joined: Mon Sep 28, 2015 9:20 am

Re: How does advanced driving deal with a modern manual gearbox

Postby Horse » Sun Dec 20, 2015 3:36 pm

Posting here as I CBA to hunt for the appropriate thread ;) . . .

My SEAT's tickover (diseasel) is a tad under 1000, change 'down' indicator comes on at 1000 and 'up' 1500.

No need to worry about rev matching when tickover does it for me ;) :)
My own views. For better or worse :)

Tango Mike
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Dec 15, 2015 7:02 pm

Re: How does advanced driving deal with a modern manual gearbox

Postby Tango Mike » Fri Dec 25, 2015 1:30 pm

IMHO Without wishing to turn this into a BGOL thread, in the purest form of the system, the gear phase is separate from the braking phase (for a whole host of reasons).
If the vehicle manufacturers instruction is to BGOL to enable the auto-rev matching to work correctly then that's the advice that I would follow.

User avatar
ChristianAB
Posts: 267
Joined: Mon Sep 28, 2015 9:51 pm

Re: How does advanced driving deal with a modern manual gearbox

Postby ChristianAB » Sun Jan 10, 2016 5:42 pm

Folks, let's not be hypocritical here, those aids are designed to help poor/average drivers feel really good about driving without having to go through the pain of mastering gear changing. (And to help in stop-start traffic)

On top of that, those technologies are not meant to make you a better driver, but rather to make driving easier. The distinguo is heavy with consequences: these gearboxes are essentially enticing you to unlearn and forget how to manually change gears. What you get back for being untaught how to do it yourself is ease and accessibility of performance, even or especially on fast cars. Then the marketing guys wrap that into the flawed mantra that 'technology is the way forward', ..., and the poisonous cocktail is served.

Look deeper: drive such a gearbox exclusively with the auto-blip on for a few months and you will notice a noticeable loss of skill and ability when you are back in a car with a proper manual. In essence, those features make you a worse driver overall. The same happens to pilots who leave the auto-pilot on too often, or to people who drive car with blindspot warning aids: they stop looking. The hidden message here is that the classic way to operate a manual gearbox is no longer relevant. This mascarade of manual gearbox operation is apparently supposed to be good? Or even fun? Just because it does it 'better'? Or is it because of the ego massaging blipping sound?

To add insult to injury, I actually believe that these auto-blip gearboxes are expressely designed such that using the auto-blip features bears no resemblance to actual human Rev-matching. So that what only skill-less, tired or lazy drivers would use most of the time, can now become the norm.

That's a shame because the tech could have been coded to help the driver improve on his/her rev-matching. Maybe future versions will go in that direction but I am not holding my breath.

So no, if we are talking about 'advanced driving', the auto-blip function of manual boxes is best ignored for as long as possible.

Sorry for the long post, but those sneaky 'aids' which pretend to 'make your life easier' whilst turning it into a poorer, monochromic parody (nice sounding blips anyone?) of itself......truly irk me.
Last edited by ChristianAB on Sun Jan 10, 2016 7:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.


Return to “Technology”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests