Road Safety and Advanced Driving in Israel

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WojtekS
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Re: Road Safety and Advanced Driving in Israel

Postby WojtekS » Fri Apr 01, 2016 5:25 pm

Astraist, what is your experience with SkidCar? Is it useful in training? Makes sense or not? Pros and cons? We have been thinking of buying one for our school. Also, what is the reliability of the SkidCar device itself? does it break down often? Do you need to spend a lot of money to maintain it in a good technical condition?
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Horse
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Re: Road Safety and Advanced Driving in Israel

Postby Horse » Fri Apr 01, 2016 6:03 pm

'Useful in training ' depends on *what* you're trying to achieve.

AAMOI, Skidcar have recently launched a motorcycle version.
My own views. For better or worse :)

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WojtekS
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Re: Road Safety and Advanced Driving in Israel

Postby WojtekS » Fri Apr 01, 2016 9:14 pm

I meant, does Astraist consider it useful. If he does, I am sure he will tell us for what purpose.
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Astraist
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Re: Road Safety and Advanced Driving in Israel

Postby Astraist » Fri Apr 01, 2016 10:44 pm

I do believe in the SkidCar's potential. It's not a perfect representation of reality, but it's close enough.

Surely it's a lot closer than a Skid Pad. Before proper Advanced Driving schools were raised, Israeli authorities had operated three Skid Pads which use a wet surface of apoxy coating that is every bit as slippery as glare ice - on summer tyres!

The result was an unrealistically sudden drop in grip levels and a loss of control that is unlike what is to be expected in real life, obviously in Israel, but even on winter-struck countries. Abroad I've even seen Skid Pads with plates that pushed a car laterally to initiate a slide!

Due to the lack of grip, the recovery method would have been profoundly different to what would be desireable in other conditions. For instance, it would become impossible to use brakes and throttle to balance the car at the onset of the slide, so the clutch had to be used on the Skid Pad.

Mainly I believe it served as an intimidation technique to avoid slides, without offering any insight as to how they might happen or what the onset of them feels like.

The SkidCar nowadays offers a car with a fully working suspension, so it behaves much like a normal car. The effect on the normal loading of the wheel generates the equivalent of different conditions quite convincingly at either the front or back. Nowadays, it also offers solutions for bikes and heavy lorries, which formerly had to settle still for the Skid Pad.

The real point of the SkidCar is to get a feel for approaching the limit, so you know not only to recover but also how to back off when you feel the limit, and ultimately how to stay off of it even as the coach continues to decrease the available grip.

This to me remains relevant even in the era of Stability controls, because you still need to know how to distant yourself from the limit and how to keep pointing the wheel towards the desired direction when the ESP is needed.

It's generally reliable, though it goes through tyres like a hungry man through breakfast. If you want to be really serious you will need a Front-Wheel Drive one and a Rear-Wheel Drive one, but down here we admittingly only have a Front-Wheel Drive.

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Horse
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Re: Road Safety and Advanced Driving in Israel

Postby Horse » Sat Apr 02, 2016 9:26 am

Astraist wrote:The real point of the SkidCar is to get a feel for approaching the limit, so you know not only to recover but also how to back off when you feel the limit, and ultimately how to stay off of it even as the coach continues to decrease the available grip.

This to me remains relevant even in the era of Stability controls


Forgive if I'm misunderstanding, but this sounds like you effectively use it to train drivers to drive up to the limit, rather than maintain safety margins - very much different to the discussion of following distance in the other thread.

ie As a performance rather than safety skill.
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Astraist
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Re: Road Safety and Advanced Driving in Israel

Postby Astraist » Sat Apr 02, 2016 2:46 pm

It is and it isn't. On the SkidCar simulating ice (for instance) you can reach the limit easily and at a slow, controlled speed. Than you learn to drive and "put as much of the performance envelope available" between yourself and it.

Personally, I am in the opinion that a novice client will not be able to use a brief period of training to be anywhere near proficient at controlling an oversteering car, or braking regressivelly (on those few that still have none-ABS cars), and normally what we find out together is that for them, best approach is to brake hard to halt. This gets one done with this entire buisness quite quickly, freeing more time for working on observation and planning.

What matters to me about approaching the limit than, is rather than the (largely tactile) sense of it, so the reaction for either corrective input or braking will be quicker.

I also tend to work on the premise that a good driver will only slide if there is something extra-ordinarily slippery on the road. For you it might be black ice. To us it would be a spill of motor oil on the road (as extremely rare as that is), so we work on identifying and evading slippery patches or knowing how to get across them with the smallest risk of sliding.

Given enough time, I really like to take the client through the entire range of driver development: Observation and Anticipation, mainly in traffic rather than on bendy roads, are key for me. But given time I'd help the client explore other dimensions like the human-machine interface and indeed car control.

The SkidCar can obviously also be used for dedicated performance driving. It's used in some very important racing schools abroad, but that's a different application.


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