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View Full Version : AI , Driving Style, real life, or not...



iggy
01-11-2017, 11:00
Ok, so I'm fiddling my way through the beginners career path(s) on Project Cars 2. I have changed setups, worked my way through many difficulties in trying to keep pace with AI drivers, I've learned a lot in the process and I think my driving skills and setup skills are improving dramatically. So, I'm running the Ginetta Junior series, AI on 60%, I'm able to keep pace, or even pretty easily beat the AI this way, but it's still challenging really. So, then I come to Donnington Park, a track which I already had experience with from the Formula Rookie series I've already done, so I think I'm going to get this down pretty quickly... WRONG.

So, the AI is beating me by 2 seconds a lap, and I'm using virtually every skill I have, braking late, turning precisely as possible , etc... and I'm wondering where in the heck can I loose 2 seconds. So I start following a AI car... What I'm seeing is that they turn somewhat abruptly going into some of the corners and yet get through them without any sliding and such. I start trying to duplicate this style of driving myself, and to some degree, I start picking up my pace, I can maybe see light at the end of my 2 second deficit tunnel, it was too late last night when I noticed how they were turning into these corners to be able to master that technique myself, but I did see evidence that I can get through those particular corners faster by trying to duplicate the turning that I see them doing...

So, meanwhile I've always been told that smooth arching lines and hitting the apex correctly , then accelerating out of the corners is the fast way to drive. However, what I see the AI doing, seems to contradict the driving style that I've come to see as the fastest way around a track. This leaves me wondering... Does Project Cars 2 really understand that a different technique is needed on some tracks and deploy this other technique? or, is this technique itself really only applicable in this game/simulator?

Now, before you answer, or contribute here, let me also say that I can usually kick the AI's butt in the rain, and I think there may be a connection here. In the rain, I do not think you can use that driving style where you abruptly turn into a corner before you get to it and then go through the corner on a straighter line... what I see is in the rain, the more smooth arching corner technique is faster ( and more reliable ). On dry pavement, it seems you can make the abrupt change of direction and then let the car go more straight through the corner, but in the rain this just doesn't seem to work well.

So, even though I've only just last night observed this technique that the AI is deploying , I'm pretty sure it's the root of why on some tracks I just really struggle to go as fast as the AI. I can also see that to some degree, I can somewhat duplicate this style of driving in Project Cars 2 and decrease my lap times. My problem, or what I really question is... is this really the REAL LIFE secret to going fast in some situations, or is this a 'simulator' oddity?

( Also, I realize that I'm not the only one to notice how fast the AI is at Donnington Park in dry weather http://forum.projectcarsgame.com/showthread.php?55832-Ginetta-Junior-Career-Donnington-AI-performance-request )

So, is this driving style something that is really the fast way to drive in both real life and PC2? or is this some anomaly? ( Any intelligent discussion around these issues will be appreciated )

Seelenkrank
01-11-2017, 11:15
short story: AI has to be optimised on tracks/cars/conditions.
just wait like the other here...

danowat
01-11-2017, 11:20
Watch them on the race monitor while you're in practice or qualifying, you'll see that they don't drive to the same rules that the player does, they do very odd movements and maneuvers that you can't match, the cars are almost on rails (watch an AI driver on an RX course to see this in a bigger effect).

iggy
01-11-2017, 12:34
So, just to be clear... I have seen that if I do my best to replicate some of the AI behavior, I get better results than when I drive my normal driving style. Example... When I drive at Donnington, going down the hill into Old Hairpin, my standard driving is to make a nice smooth arch through that corner, however I inevitably go off track coming out of the corner , the grip after or near the second half of the corner is just not there... yet, if I modify my style and turn one abrupt movement at or near the point where I normally start to turn in, the car actually does turn reasonably well and because I've already got my car to rotate and stay hooked up, I can cut the corner a little and drive more straight through the second half of the corner ( although I'm in a bit of a slide actually at that point or it feels as though I am , but it's a steady slide and somewhat controllable).

So, while I do think to some degree the AI car is seemingly unfairly able to stay hooked up through corners where I can't, it almost seems like to some degree, it's that I'm missing some previously unknown driving technique ( unknown to me anyway ). This particular technique intrigues me... I just don't fully understand if it's a REAL LIFE situation that I have never understood or learned, or if it's just some quirk about computer simulations of tracks and driving on these computer simulations.

I struggled bad with Algrave in the Formula Rookie series, but managed to eek out a win by driving on the edge of being totally out of control way more often that I would like. If driving like that in real life is required, I would think there would be far more accidents in racing than what we typically see in most professional racing. When I struggled with this track, I still didn't really figure out where the AI was gaining so much speed over my driving, but now I wonder if it's in some way similar to what I'm seeing in the Donnington Park race in the G40 cars

belaki
01-11-2017, 13:14
Its their braking.

Terminators never lock up, always brake late, always turn in late, always foot on the floor just before the apex. And they never stop racing at 9.999/10ths. It is, to me, non-optimal behavior and I do wish the developers would add a bit more realism to Terminator braking behavior. It becomes especially evident when trying to race them closely when preparing to overtake. Oddly, they can be surprisingly easy to overtake under breaking...

Enough of my whining.

Get on YouTube and find some live video of an actual driver going quick at your layout. Trying to emulate the Terminators is a good way to become competitive with them, but they don't know everything about quick and some of the things they do will not equate to solid skill improvement for you. Do realize, that at your stage you haven't begun to scratch the surface for how quick you really are. In a few months, you'll be lapping AI driving at 60.

You are asking the right question: "Where's the 2 seconds?"

iggy
01-11-2017, 13:30
Its their braking.

Terminators never lock up, always brake late, always turn in late, always foot on the floor just before the apex. And they never stop racing at 9.999/10ths. It is, to me, non-optimal behavior and I do wish the developers would add a bit more realism to Terminator braking behavior. It becomes especially evident when trying to race them closely when preparing to overtake. Oddly, they can be surprisingly easy to overtake under breaking...

Enough of my whining.

Get on YouTube and find some live video of an actual driver going quick at your layout. Trying to emulate the Terminators is a good way to become competitive with them, but they don't know everything about quick and some of the things they do will not equate to solid skill improvement for you. Do realize, that at your stage you haven't begun to scratch the surface for how quick you really are. In a few months, you'll be lapping AI driving at 60.

You are asking the right question: "Where's the 2 seconds?"

I don't disagree with anything you've said... and it makes sense. My first attempt to find someone driving ( in PC2) that track , with the car I'm driving... led me to a guy who's driven up from 12th place, lost it in a corner, then passed everyone to get back to 2nd or 3rd place... I was having a hard time seeing his lap times, but after I got to see a glimpse , I think his best lap time was about 8 seconds slower then me, so he must have had AI set to 20% or something. :) So, thus far, it's been hard to find a real person driving that course fast in the type of car I'm trying to learn how to drive.

I'm on PS4, so even in the online time trial, it's virtually impossible to find a 'ghost' of someone driving one of these low speed beginner cars. ( PS4 has a limit of seeing only like the top 30 fastest cars, and they are never the beginner cars in that 30 ).

So anyway, I do feel this is all kind of 'good' experience for me , to learn... but at the same time, it's very frustrating to see how on some courses, particularly in the dry the AI is just very hard to compete against... yet then others, it's not that hard, especially in the rain. ( although at Silverstone there pretty darn good in the rain )

Mahjik
01-11-2017, 22:23
Just to note, when you hear about "being smooth", it's a relative smooth. i.e. the descriptor has to be in relation to something else. Smooth doesn't mean you drive like a granny around the track, but it means you drive in a way to keep the car from being so upset it goes out of control.

In normal performance driving, the movements are fairly abrupt compare to driving on the street. Racing/performance tires will grip better than standard passenger tires and with a race car the suspension will be much more responsive. If you do a ride alone in a race prep car without being in a 5 or 6 point harness, you will be thrown all around from the g-force.

The other thing to realize is that racing slicks (and most performance tires) work well at certain slip angles. i.e. you need to almost overdrive some them to get them into their working window. I typically tell people when they use a tire like a Hoosier, the lap that feels the sloppiest will be your fastest because the Hoosiers require a much higher slip angle than other semi-slicks.

In short, you do need to be aggressive with race cars. The driver actions need to be quick and deliberate but also "smooth" at the same time. The smooth part just means keeping the car from being upset where it gets out of shape.

iggy
02-11-2017, 13:36
Well, last night I kept playing/practicing with the new found technique. I still haven't mastered it, but I am mostly to the point where I see this as a valid way to drive faster. Now, when I watch the AI cars doing it, I still feel like they are likely doing it in a way that would be very very hard for a human to do with the car handling the way they typically do in this race. But, I can see where it's more or less a perfectly legitimate way to do things, in fact the more I was able to do it myself, the more clear it became to me that it's actually pretty obvious why it allows you to get through these particular corners easier with much faster exit speed.

So, I guess at this point I'll just say that I have learned a new technique in driving faster. I do hope I am able to see similar situations faster in the future, that is... I hope I see more and more opportunities to shave seconds off my lap times , by deploying this new found skill.

Meanwhile , the best I was able to do was 4th in qualifying, but I managed to get up to first at the start of the race, eventually I did get passed by one car , which proceeded to pull away from me pretty good. I kept the others at bay and wound up with a second place finish. My best lap time was about 0.5 seconds off the best lap of the race. So, I clearly do still have a lot of room for improvement in my driving.

Roger Prynne
02-11-2017, 14:49
Nothing wrong with 4th in qualifying and second in race :yes:
That should mean you have things set up quite well.
Just practice a bit more.