Based on the official results, the chart below (click to zoom) shows the final scores for the WSC Cruiser class. Each team has three coloured bars: first the number of person-kilometres, which should be large (black icons show occupied seats and white icons empty seats), then the energy usage, which should be small (number of charges, which is 6 in each case, times battery capacity), and finally the overall efficiency score, which should be large again (it is the ratio of those first two numbers). The rule for the efficiency score bar is: first bar divided by second bar, then scale so that the largest result is 80%. The scaled practicality scores out of 20 (grey bars) are then added. Eindhoven is the clear winner, with Bochum second.
The chart below (click to zoom) shows the raw practicality scores for all Cruisers (finishing, non-finishing, and non-starting).
Thank you Tony, always very interesting.
Well, there we have it, conclusive proof that the practicality of a car is directly linked to its size.
Of the many problems with the Cruiser class scoring system, this stands out as the most ridiculous. The official guidance was that, amongst other things, a car would be scored on it’s style and suitability for purpose.
It would be a huge co-incidence if it were true that none of the two seat cars were suitable to carry two people (in fact on that measure – the ability to actually transport the stated number of people – Arrow was by far the most successful). And as for style??.
And the biggest insult must be to IVE and Apollo, 5th and 6th in anyone’s eyes in the race and they are less practical than a car that was not suitable to start.
My apologies to IVE, of course they were 4th in the race not 5th.
The details of practicality storing are here. There was some controversy about certain aspects of the judging.
Some controversy? I’m surprised that they weren’t lynched.
Their summary hardly makes things better does it? Arrow “rested a bag on their solar array, while other teams defended the fragile solar cells” – apparently not a really practical feature for Arrow though.
“TAFE SA presented a solar powered truck, which can tow a six metre trailer, and even includes a sleeping cabin appropriate for a person up to 2 m tall” , clearly not great on storage though!
And as for the bicycle test, having kids, I’ve certainly been required in the past to transport full size bikes and my family saloon car is ok for that. When I buy my Ferrari however, that feature will certainly be nowhere near the top of my list.
Thank heavens most of the teams ignore the judging criteria and just make the car that they want to make.
Thank you Tony for your excellent articles, graphs, ideas and comments. It would be a lot less fun to follow the WSC without your (and MostDeces’) work. Indeed, I am jealous of Tony, who could be in Adelaide and actually see an touch the solar cars and their teams:-).
On practicality judging in the cruiser class:
There is certainly much to improve in the judging. Nevertheless the WSC crew has at least judged all cars that started in the cruiser class. Furthermore communication has improved: I think the daily cruiser class summaries were excellent. Some of the judging details were published. However, there is more to do in communication. Why not publish pictures from the interior of all cars? Why not list all the innovative features in the table? Why not list or describe the points that show the possibility of an improvement?
Sadly, the WSC-committee, we here and may be some of the teams take the judging way too serious. It should be fun to try out the features, to present the details of the solar cruisers and to discuss the practicality with experts and fans. The more details we know the better. This time the score didn’t matter, but it did in history. The results proved, that die practicality judgment is not a challenge that should have influence on the score of the race. The cars with a poor practicality score had no advantage in concentrating on winning the race. I think practicality could also be an extra prize besides the race. Maybe the team could be asked to design a sales brochure?
Due to some miscommunication, I missed part of the Cruiser judging. Generally there was poor media coverage of it: I agree that interior photos would be good (in 2015, most teams posted such photos before the race). In 2015, most teams also made sales posters. I agree that a sales brochure (online, presumably) would be good.
Arrow actually did quite well with the Judges; 4th place from that half of practicality scoring. Their poor practicality overall was due to issues with the three-point turn and reverse park, although I’m not sure what those issues were. (And of course, only fitting one of the three giant items into their car)
The “storage” portion was simply three checkboxes, one for each item: The baby stroller, child car seat, and bicycle. TAFE had racing bucket seats that could not fit the child seat, which is why they only score 2 out of 3 storage points despite having perhaps the largest and most readily accessible cargo area (although Iowa was not far behind in that regard). The child seat seemed to be picked specifically to penalize teams for using racing buckets; I’m not sure why the organizers decided to do that.
Thanks for that reply. I wonder why, if the parking and turning exercises are really to test the car, they would not use one experienced driver to test every car.
I’m also not really sure how a child seat comes under “storage” rather than “features” or some other category in the first part of judging.
The biggest problem with the whole scoring system is that elements seem to count more than once. As well as the size issue and the multiple times that it can contribute to the score, we have a category for most/best features followed by a category of desirability. Isn’t it just possible that the car with many features will also be desirable.
Of course, we are only talking about desirability to 4 people who may well have the same criteria. It baffles me why there has never been a public poll, carried out at the Adelaide arena amongst the teams and the public, to discover which car is the most desirable.
All in all though it really is a pity that such a great event results in our petty gripes. Perhaps, as Dietrich says above, we take it too seriously.
It makes some sense that larger cars are more better rewarded. For one, they would be more suited for general use, or else most cars on the road would not be 4-door cars.
And the intend of this scoring was probably to reward bigger larger cars in the expectation that they would be slower then light 2-people seaters. Execpt it turned out that bigger cars turned out to be more likely to finish, and the new regulations now reward them too (over earlier years).
There-in lies the problem MBB – “most cars on the road are 4 door cars” – so therefore they must be the best!
Most cars on the road are 4 door cars with ONE person in them. According to almost any traffic survey, over 75% of journeys are made with one person in the car and many of the rest only have two people(the average is about 1.7 people).Take a look yourself when you drive to work.
So MOST of the time that’s an engine dragging around 1.5 tons or more of steel just to transport a 12st person. As I’ve pointed out before, look in the driveway of a family with two grown up children and you will probably see four cars with 12 to 16 “spare” seats.
It makes much more sense for people to own small cars for regular use. If they were made cheaply enough families could also own a larger car for the school run, holidays, outings etc . On the rare occasions that the rest of the population needs a bigger car or van they can be hired.
Most of the perceived barriers to the use of future transport methods relates to people’s over estimation of what they actually need in a car. Until they can be convinced what the reality is it’s difficult to move forward, WSC has a chance to be part of that progress with the Cruiser class but, in my opinion, that opportunity is being squandered.
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