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> Smooth Acceleration, Theory and Practice
strategist102
  Posted: Jul 26 2010, 05:34 PM


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Hi

I'm new to the car scene and very interested in a lot of the driving theories and techniques. I have access to a few driving resources but I am constantly trying to expand my driving knowledge.

I was always taught to smoothly accelerate and not floor my gas pedal. But I am having trouble figuring out the specifics of smooth acceleration techniques.

What I am asking is what is the logic behind this?

What the benefits of gradually depressing the acceleration pedal as opposed to flooring the gas pedal?

Also if gradually depressing the pedal is beneficial is there a specific rate at which the pedal should be depressed, if my goal is to optimize speed at both the straightaways and corners?

Any feedback would be much appreciated.
flohtingPoint
Posted: Jul 26 2010, 05:57 PM


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QUOTE (strategist102 @ 22 minutes, 34 seconds ago)
Hi

I'm new to the car scene and very interested in a lot of the driving theories and techniques. I have access to a few driving resources but I am constantly trying to expand my driving knowledge.


If you actually want to become a better driver, read this thread and get invovled: http://idforums.net/index.php?showtopic=40124


Go ahead, I'll wait...


....

...

..

.

Hopefully you finished reading the post and did some research of your own.

Now, for the rest of your questions:

QUOTE
I was always taught to smoothly accelerate and not floor my gas pedal. But I am having trouble figuring out the specifics of smooth acceleration techniques.

What I am asking is what is the logic behind this?


There is no mysterious logic. You cant hammer the throttle on escaping the pocket because you'll spin or push.


QUOTE
What the benefits of gradually depressing the acceleration pedal as opposed to flooring the gas pedal?


The benefits are you wont do either of the above (spin or push).


QUOTE
Also if gradually depressing the pedal is beneficial is there a specific rate at which the pedal should be depressed, if my goal is to optimize speed at both the straightaways and corners?


Every car is different. I cant give you a magical algorithm because one doesn't exist. You need to maximize your on throttle time, remove any time where you're either not on the throttle or on the brake and try to exit the pocket while rolling toward WOT (wide open throttle).

Your ability to roll onto WOT is going to have to be something you figure out on your own car. Tons of things factor in; Your HP, spring/wheel rate, tire compound, etc.

The only way to truly become a good driver is to get involved in sanctioned motorsports. Like I said, read the link I posted and get to it.
DigiBunny
Posted: Jul 26 2010, 06:03 PM


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You're not supposed to completely floor the gas pedal because if you do, you reduce the effeciency at which your engine works.

I'll put it this way. Suppose you have a wide intake pipe. In order to work, it sucks air in. The amount of air it sucks is relative to the engine speed.
Your accelerator pedal determines how much fuel you dump into the engine as well as a valve that opens to let in that air.

Completely flooring the pedal would mean opening the valve fully. If you do that, you lack sufficient vaccum "momentum" to start accelerate effeciently, and all you end up doing is dumping fuel into the engine that doesnt particularly do anything. Flooring it is fine if you are at the proper engine speeds to do so.

My 4AGE gives me this reed whistling sound to tell me if I'm being unreasonable with my right foot. In those cases, I'd either just let off enough for the whistling to stop, or drop a gear.

Accelerating smoothly is relative. I could feather the throttle of a diesel jeep and then floor it once it gets going, but I can't do that with my car. As long as you manage to accelerate without jerking around, you're smooth.
If we're talking corners, then we'd have to know what layout your car has, and what you're trying to accomplish with it.
flohtingPoint
Posted: Jul 26 2010, 06:09 PM


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QUOTE (DigiBunny @ 5 minutes, 28 seconds ago)
You're not supposed to completely floor the gas pedal because if you do, you reduce the effeciency at which your engine works.

I'll put it this way. Suppose you have a wide intake pipe. In order to work, it sucks air in. The amount of air it sucks is relative to the engine speed.
Your accelerator pedal determines how much fuel you dump into the engine as well as a valve that opens to let in that air.

Fun fact: Just about every motor on the planet on a stock tune goes rich momentarily at WOT. You'd have to roll on the throttle with no concern for time to avoid this.
DigiBunny
Posted: Jul 26 2010, 06:11 PM


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QUOTE (flohtingPoint @ 1 minute, 53 seconds ago)
Fun fact: Just about every motor on the planet on a stock tune goes rich momentarily at WOT. You'd have to roll on the throttle with no concern for time to avoid this.

I understood the motor and the part about going rich. You lost me with the other terms.
flohtingPoint
Posted: Jul 26 2010, 06:13 PM


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QUOTE (DigiBunny @ 2 minutes, 30 seconds ago)
I understood the motor and the part about going rich. You lost me with the other terms.

The rest of my post? I was basically saying to avoid a stock tune richness, you'd have to depress the throttle very slowly. Much, much slower than would be advisable if time is your adversary.
DigiBunny
Posted: Jul 26 2010, 06:21 PM


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QUOTE (flohtingPoint @ 7 minutes, 28 seconds ago)
The rest of my post? I was basically saying to avoid a stock tune richness, you'd have to depress the throttle very slowly. Much, much slower than would be advisable if time is your adversary.

While the aspect of tuning a car so that it can handle that much throttle in the beginning interests me greatly, it goes a tad off topic.

--

I'd like to add that the smoother you drive, the less extra exertion your car has to put up with than it already has carrying it's weight at relatively high speeds around a turn.
Spaz
Posted: Jul 26 2010, 07:01 PM


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It comes down to smooth being fast. If you're jerking the controls, you're jerking the car, and not letting it transfer weight and use available grip the way it's optimally designed to.
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sideways
Posted: Jul 27 2010, 12:13 AM


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To elaborate on what floh is saying and (hopefully) answer the question a little more clearly- Tires only have so much traction available to do something at any one point, theres a "Rate" at which they can accelerate, try to jump from demanding 50% of their traction to 100% of their traction instantly with too much power behind the demand and theyll just slip/spin (This isnt just refering to straight acceleration, turning and braking, its all acceleration in another direction from a physics stand point). This is the general logic behind being "smooth". Keep it smooth, and you utilize the peak traction of a tire better at all times.

Theres a lot of real-world examples that you can relate this phenomenon to, ever try to push with your feet too quickly on a slipper surface? Doesnt work to well does it? Gotta push slow, and gradually increase the speed. Same idea. Read the link floh said, take the time to absorb/learn from it, and feel free to ask proper questions.

Oh and welcome to IDW. Take the time to get to know the people here, theres a LOT of very well knowledge'd (totally a word, i swear) individuals here worth learning from. Be respectful and youll get the same treatment in return (usually, hopefully). A lot of us have been around the block a few times, if youre serious about learning- well pick up on it and youll fit right in, if youre not and youre arrogant- itll reflect just as well. Hope to see more of you around here.
Rudy
Posted: Nov 10 2010, 07:30 AM


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Bubs
Posted: Nov 10 2010, 07:43 AM


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QUOTE
What the benefits of gradually depressing the acceleration pedal as opposed to flooring the gas pedal?


Gran Turismo 2 for the PS1 did not have a pressure-sensitive button for the throttle (on the normal PS1 controller). For this reason, you were always flooring the gas pedal. What did this cause? It caused any car with more than 1.5hp to spin its tires for the first three miles of every race.

The PS2 has a pressure sensitive button for the throttle. For this reason, you can gradually depress the accelerator, therefore you are not just doing one long, continuous burnout for the entire race.

Wait, what?
Rudy
Posted: Nov 10 2010, 07:51 AM


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Möbius
Posted: Nov 10 2010, 10:02 AM


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QUOTE (Midnight Drifter @ 2 hours, 11 minutes ago)
Dude, GT was where it all began. Gran Turismo was the Dual-Shock game. If you were still driving with the buttons by that time...  laugh.gif

I was, and I was competing in world class competitions at the time. Just required diffferent techniques is all. user posted image

This post has been edited by Möbius on Nov 10 2010, 10:02 AM
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Bubs
Posted: Nov 10 2010, 12:54 PM


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One other thing I loved about Gran Turismo 2 is that a song began at the start of the race, and then repeated until the race was done. That meant I wound up doing an hours-long endurance race listening to the same Stone Temple Pilots song over and over.

My car's tires stopped spinning by the third hour. tongue.gif
sideways
Posted: Nov 10 2010, 01:13 PM


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Sigh. Gt2/3 were awesome enough, how did they fail soooo badly with gt4?
avraell
Posted: Feb 26 2011, 08:34 AM


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This is pretty old, but for any complete noobs (more noob than me, which is rare) that come by, it's basically this: when your tires are spinning in place, you don't have traction. The easiest way to understand this concept is to turn traction control off at a stop and slam the gas. Your driving wheels will spin in place (with any but the lowest hp cars, unless you have super grippy tires) and you won't go anywhere. Whereas if you apply the throttle too softly, you aren't using maximum grip. The idea is to apply gas to the point just before your tires start slipping. With enough hp, you can slip tires at almost any speed (though it's a bit more dangerous).
Spaz
Posted: Feb 26 2011, 09:45 PM


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My tires don't spin in place... what am I doing wrong?
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Cubits
Posted: Feb 26 2011, 09:55 PM


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Well mr. spaz, whilst i have no experience driving cars, i am not beyond giving advice on the internet.

Clearly you need more power.

Your good friend,

Random internet noob.
Spaz
Posted: Feb 27 2011, 08:23 AM


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Thank you random internet noob, you've solved all of my problems forever.

A GT42R will be big enough to spin the tires, right? Will it fit between my block and the radiator? Should I just remove the radiator? It has a radiator for the air already, so do I really need one for the water too? Can I just put duct tape over the where the hoses come out?

This post has been edited by cmspaz on Feb 27 2011, 08:25 AM
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MattW
Posted: Feb 27 2011, 08:27 AM


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HX35 or bust. You'll spin the tires all day.
Type 100
Posted: Jun 27 2011, 05:54 PM


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QUOTE (strategist102 @ Jul 26 2010, 05:34 PM)
What the benefits of gradually depressing the acceleration pedal as opposed to flooring the gas pedal?

Also if gradually depressing the pedal is beneficial is there a specific rate at which the pedal should be depressed, if my goal is to optimize speed at both the straightaways and corners?

Any feedback would be much appreciated.

The short answer is TRACTION. Given that you get your racing line and braking all correct, maintaining positive traction by proper acceleration will mean less time wasted on wheelspin, and more time spent actually accelerating.

On a high-powered car especially, too sudden an application of power can cause your drive wheels to break traction. The more power your car makes, the smoother you have to be on the throttle.

There is a reason why low-powered cars are deemed much more fun to drive by some drivers and racers: There is much less traction penalty if you crank open the throttle to WOT, if at all. Keiichi Tsuchiya himself remarks about this in the "Drift Bible" DVD - this is one big reason why he loves driving an AE86.

Keisuke Takahashi was self-taught a method of breaking the throttle pedal travel in 10ths in the Initial D anime, which is a good example for illustrative purposes. In real life, there is no specific rate at which the pedal should be depressed. It depends on quite a few variables:
- the car's engine output/torque characteristics
- the car's drivetrain
- the surface of the track
- the car's tire compound and grip characteristics
- the desired outcome (grip? drift? understeer for more exit velocity?)

Depending on the conditions, while mid-corner, you can jump from 0% to 60% throttle and still get sufficient purchase and put your power down cleanly, but a smidge more at 70% throttle and you may already get unwanted understeer. As you straighten out the car's path, you can go WOT as the tires aren't burdened by the job of cornering any more.

A driver will simply have to learn to sense the point at which the tires are breaking traction under power. It's basically a tradeoff between tire squeals and forward progress as you apply the throttle. Given correct braking and turn-in, if you're making more noise than forward motion, you need to back off on the gas.

This post has been edited by Type 100 on Jun 27 2011, 06:02 PM
Jardim
Posted: Jun 27 2011, 07:03 PM


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QUOTE (cmspaz @ Feb 27 2011, 12:45 AM)
My tires don't spin in place... what am I doing wrong?

Your car has H4x, some people call it 4WD but i call it h4x.
HorizontalMitsubishi
Posted: Jun 27 2011, 09:38 PM


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Spaz, tie a rope to a tree and then to the rear bumper support, take engine as high as it will rev and sidestep the clutch, that should get your tires spinning in place.
Spaz
Posted: Jun 28 2011, 07:24 AM


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QUOTE (sidewaysstarion @ 9 hours, 46 minutes ago)
Spaz, tie a rope to a tree and then to the rear bumper support, take engine as high as it will rev and sidestep the clutch, that should get your tires spinning in place.

Considering the car will do short AWD burnouts from the rev limit at higher tire pressures, I bet that would actually work.
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Jardim
Posted: Jun 28 2011, 03:24 PM


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Or get 4 people to pull up on the fenders to reduce friction. That would turn out great!