Cockpit Controller(Driver)

In: Other Topics

Submitted By josephtatineni
Words 3017
Pages 13
Cockpit Control Forces or How Robust Do Driver Controls Really Need To Be? I look forward to racing competitions, not only for the obvious reasons (you get to see a lot of neat, different cars, and talk to a lot of incredibly bright engineering students), but also because it is the one time of year when all the Design Judges, Tech volunteers, Rules Committee members, and the other visionary individuals who make racing what it is, are gathered together. We use this opportunity to talk over ideas face to face and gain a better view of the ‘Big Picture’ so to speak. One of the topics that came up over dinner one evening, this past May, was sub-system robustness, or how strong does a steering/brake/accelerator/gearshift (you pick one) system really need to be? This is a topic which all RACING volunteers (Design Judges & Scrutineers in particular) are sensitive to because we, on occasion, have actually broken student built cars. Make no mistake about it, when this happens, we feel very badly that we have broken something which students have put long hard hours of design/build/test time into. However, we are also quick to point out that we would much rather see the suspect part break standing still, rather than out on the track where someone (be it a student driver, or worse yet, an innocent spectator) could be injured or worse. Unfortunately, some students get upset, and feel that they are being unfairly singled out, because: “We tested that ____
(insert one: brake pedal, steering shaft, accelerator pedal, gear shift, etc) beyond reasonable limits, and it didn’t break for us.” This article will look at each of the different sub-systems that a driver exerts force to operate and help you determine what the reasonable forces for normal operation are. It is not my intention to tell you how to design your car. This is just…...

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