The collab mishap
So after a bit of fudging around on Discord with a challenge idea to get more collabs to happen in the community it is time to start drafting this proper.
In real life automotive development is a gigantic collab of thousands (and thousands) of engineers and designers to figure out a car and how to build it. Some parts of this development happens in series, where you start off what already has been decided and make the best of it, and other parts happens parallel, where different parts are developed at the same time with limited communication between the departments. This goal of this challenge concept is to capture this in the Automation community, with all of the woes it may bring.
Alright, let’s go down this cooking recipe for car development in automation. The intention is that information about the car only is given when transitioning from one step number to the other and that parallel development happens unaware / in secrecy. All players are given what kind of car it should be, and the goal approximate cost. Teams also do not get preformed, but are decided by ?the host or randomized?, and are meant to be unaware of who is in their team during development.
The Steps as I see them:
Step Number 1: The general concept / approach to satisfy a certain target demographic.
What does this mean in this challenge? We have Model Design: One player makes the most important decision for the rest: they choose what body the team will work with, and fills out the “Chassis” tab.
Step Number 2: Welcome to parallel development, now after the general development direction is decided, other departments get involved and main car design is underway:
- Powertrain development: One player takes the target demographic, and makes whatever best suited engine they can to this taking the chosen body, engine placement and space restrictions into account. They also fill out the “Drivetrain” tab.
- Vehicle styling: One player design the exterior of the car, morphing, fixtures, the available colours,…the lot. No more morphing including wheel arches is allowed after this. They also fill out the “Aerodynamics” tab.
- Interior and driver assistance development: One player fills out the “Interior” and “Driver Aids & Safety” tab.
Step Number 3: Prototyping, time to dial in the last bits of the car and get it riding and performing as it should. This is the time the Vehicle dynamics development goes ahead. One player fills out the “Wheels”, “Brakes” and “Suspension” tab. They also may adjust the wing angle by ±15 in the “Aerodynamics” tab. Probably not the most realistic that the suspension type choice happens now, but let’s give this player a bit of choice other than salvaging what they have been given.
Et voila, after all these steps, you got a finished car.
Judging: How would this challenged be judged? if the host decides the team compositions and coordinates the whole development progression it could be a bad idea to let them judge too. My idea would be to after the cars have finished to upload the files for everyone to see and let them vote on any car they haven’t worked on, also only participants would be allowed to vote. The problem with this is that you need enough participants to form 3 or more teams, or this wouldnt work. Perhaps there also are other issues that I’ve missed.
Next round progressions: How would it be decided who is the host for the next round?
Equal load / responsibility: The person doing the Interior and driver assistance development has a relatively small part in the process within Automation, maybe this could be merged with the model design?
Deadline timing: The goal is to minimize the possibility of people finding out who is in their team and starting up an reiterative design which isnt in the spirit of the challenge. In theory other than styling every “development” section in this challenge could be done in the matter of a couple hours or less in Automation, so tight deadlines can prevent this from occuring, but this also may seriously hamper the amount of participants in the challenge. So yeah, not sure what timings would be best.
Role assignments: Would players be allowed to prefer what role they have in the development? As it would be easier to find out during step 2 who your teammates are.
Secrecy to prevent reiterative design and role breaches: Would this concept even work when people know who they’re working with and what they’re making, not following the pseudo-realistic steps with assigned roles?
This still is very much in the draft phase, and I would love to hear what you guys think about this challenge idea pitch. So yeah, there is no theme or anything here yet, just wanting some feedback concerning the idea and if anyone would be interested.