Not idiocy at all, Architect. Simulation is used as design shortcuts, not as final solutions. It works well to get to the finer tuning stage - then real life comes to play.
The wind engine is still a "pie in the sky" - it can't earn its own keep - even after the billions spent on research and pilot projects. It can't pass "real life". You can only "bang your head on the wall" for so long.
Don't be questiong the ethics of a noble profession because it cannot perform miracles.
Some day, that could happen, Rob. The problem with autonomous driving right now is so-called "rogue vehicles," i.e., cars driven by humans. Autonomous cars have trouble predicting the crazy things that humans do. If we could get all the humans off the course, I think it could happen.
That's a very good point, Bob. If all of the variables the driver faces could be identified, they could also be optimized. The lag time between an event and a response would be quicker with a computer. That coule make all the difference.
Perhaps after getting driving rights for their autonomous cars, Google might look at autonomous race car operation. Machine accurate, faster-than-human measurements in all directions and consistent operation, it might provide an interesting man-vs-machine contest. If nothing else, the machine operated car could remove human support systems along with the human. The vehicle could operate closer to the limits.
UAVs have already revolutionized military aviation. Almost every other week or so, UAV launched missles attack our enemies in Pakistan and Yeman. The robot warrior is becoming a fact, at least in the air.
Beth, in my experience, and that of others I talk to, the setting up of a model is very difficult and time consuming. This is especially true of something like an Indy Car. Considering the time between races and the ability to simulate the track with a device, it might be quicker to do it this way. On the other hand, when designing a large complex machine or one that will be made in large volume, the time is worth it.
I totally understand the criticality of analyzing airflow to make tweaks to the car that will deliver a competitive edge. But what about employing 3D simulation software as opposed to or in addition to physical wind tunnel testing. Wouldn't simulation testing be easier and less expensive than putting the cars through their paces in physical wind tunnels? Do they not have the technology or are there specific reasons why the physical world still has an edge in testing at this stage of game?
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