Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Final Results for WSC 2015 Posted

See the Challenger, Cruiser, and Adventure class results. I'll be posting more about the results later (maybe later tonight even).

For now, a few quick notes:

1) 11 out of 20 finishing cars in the Challenger class have a time ending in zero seconds, which is statistically so astronomically unlikely that I'm not even going to bother computing the chances... Why bother reporting time down to the second if it's clearly only recorded to the minute-ish?

2) Ardingly appears to have driven zero km on solar power... But because of this, they never took the grid charge in Alice Springs, and the reduction in "energy usage" (normalized relative to the top finishing car) gives them so many points that they ended up in 6th overall in the Cruiser class. I think WSC made a critical error here - similar to how teams get a zero on the "time" portion if they don't finish the race, I think non-finishing teams should have also gotten a zero on "energy" as well. Otherwise, it's ripe for a "The Producers" style strategy - aim to win by losing. Someone could have built a car with 0.1kWh of batteries, failed to finish the race, but their "Energy Usage" relative to the best finishing car would have netted them over 4400 points out of a possible 15 in the category! WUT.

3) Why doesn't WSC report miles driven on solar in the Cruiser results? I know it doesn't matter for the scoring, but it would be neat to know (for example) if Lodz did 2113km with a single person, or 1056km with two people in the car, or somewhere in between.


  1. Ardingly certainly drove SOME km on solar

    1. Hrmmm... I suppose person-km is only counted when the car is continuously occupied between control stops, so maybe they did some driving but never actually completed a leg.

    2. Yes, that's probably it.

  2. To me it would seem logical to scale the energy usage and time factors by the fraction of distance travelled under solar power. After all, it makes no sense to score a car by the speed at which it drives trailered.

  3. There are so many oddities, discrepancies and mistakes in the results they are hard to take seriously at all.

    1. You didn't mention the 7 times that ended in 59 secs.

    2. The press release from Sunday evening said that Bochum won on practicality with EHV one percentage point behind.

    3. The UNSW guys must be thrilled that all of the work they've done on their car has made it 23% less practical than it was in 2013, what the hell did they say was their target market?

    4. Minnesota were apparently driving for over 62 hours in a 57 hour window and the car is about as practical as Tehran's.

    5. That's nothing compared to Liberty and Houston who drove for over 97 and 113 hours respectively.

    I could go on but what's the point?

    Maybe there are explanations for all of these things but if you are going to publish a table that is not self explanatory for god's sake add some notes.

    It might help if they published the notes on practicality judging to explain their ratings because I'm damn sure that I can't see how they arrived at those figures.


    1. Addressing a few points:

      1) Yeah, I think WSC felt pressured to announce times down to the second due to how close 1&2 and 3&4 were - if we exclude those times, only two teams have times that don't end in "0" or "59". Note that they did not record seconds on the official times in 2013.

      4) Minnesota may have taken a penalty due to kinda-sorta missing Alice Springs (at least they managed to drive the whole thing on solar). I know UNSW took a penalty for Alice Springs. Minnesota definitely didn't bring a practical car, by the way - despite the size of the car, they had made no provisions for luggage; they ended up having to pile the luggage in the passenger seat. The doors weren't great which probably hurt them as well. They also failed the hill-start test, due to the battery pack being totally drained (and also only one functional motor?). I'm not terribly surprised they they were rated as the 2nd least practical.

      5) In previous years, WSC simply hasn't recorded a time for vehicles that brought the car in on trailer. This year, I think they used some un-published formula to add penalties for trailering. At ASC, teams that trailer are assessed the full course time + 3 minutes per mile on the trailer. On the other hand, the wild difference in elapsed time for TAFE SA and Liberty Christian (despite trailering almost exactly the same distance) is deeply confusing.