AI-based Virtual Race Engineer incl. Pitstop Handling

Discussion in 'Third Party Content' started by TheBigO, Apr 16, 2021.

  1. TheBigO

    TheBigO Registered

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    After the introduction of the probability model for the future development of the race and the positions of the individual drivers, today's release brings a full simulation of the pit stop strategy. Cato is able to determine the lap for the stop either for the scheduled pit stop or for a selected lap within the limits of a configurable window that offers the greatest possible benefit in terms of position and traffic density after the pit stop. Under- and overcut scenarios are recognized and are also included in the assessment.

    Here is a short excerpt from a dialogue with Cato:

    -------

    Driver: "What is the best lap for the next pitstop?"

    Cato: "Understood. Please give me a few seconds."

    (Cato again runs a complex simulation, taking into account your remaining fuel, the current race positions and the weather outlook. Cato will recommend the lap for the pitstop, where you will have the least traffic after the stop, or the lap where an undercut might be possible, taking into account the best lap for a tyre compound change, if applicable.)

    Cato: "I recommend a pitstop in lap 17. Should I inform your race engineer?"

    Driver: "Yes, please."

    (Cato will hand over the information to your virtual race engineer, which will handle the technical stuff and plan the pitstop.)

    -------

    There are also some improvements in the setup database and a first version of support for Automobilista 2.

    And now have fun with it ...
     
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  2. TheBigO

    TheBigO Registered

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    With today's release, the integration of Autmobilista 2 is completed. Jona can now plan and prepare the pit stop, as long as the functions in Automobilista 2 are available. And Cato has all the data available to develop the right strategy. In addition, the options for the pit stop in Automobilista 2 can also be controlled from the button box, and there is a new controller action "eecute", with which external applications and commands can be activated from the button box.
     
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  3. TheBigO

    TheBigO Registered

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    A lot has happened in the last week:

    1. Cato's predictions of future racing positions and the optimal lap for a pitstop have become even more precise.
    2. In addition, Cato can now relate the distances to opponents either to the standings or to the positions on the track.
    3. The new features in the Pitstop HUD from the last "RaceRoon Racing Experience" update have been incorporated. Repair of rear aero damage is now also supported.
    4. For all those, who want to use the racing assistants without speech recognition, the most important commands are now also available as actions for the hardware controller (ButtonBox, StreamDeck, etc.). So you can now have the current lap times of the opponents or the optimal lap for the upcoming pit stop announced at the push of a button.
    5. A new controller mode "Assistant" is available as a layer for the button boxes in order to group the assistant commands.
     
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  4. TheBigO

    TheBigO Registered

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    Today's release is all about speech generation and immersion. I implemented a complex audio postprocessing. The voices of Jona and Cato now sound authentically like in team radio, including noise, crackling, distortion, etc. The bigger change, however, is the possibility to carry out the voice generation in the Azure cloud. Significantly more voices are available and they sound far more natural than the voices of the Windows speech generation on the local computer. Of course you need an Azure account to use this service, but the first 500,000 characters per month are free in the regions "US West", "Asia SouthEast" and "Europe West" - more than enough for our purposes. As always, details on the installation can be found in the "Update Notes".

    The project is now on a summer break. However, that does not mean that work will not continue. But since testing capabilities will be quite limited, there will be no release in the next 4-5 weeks. For support and questions I still can be reached via Discord (https://discord.gg/5N8JrNr48H).

    After the summer break, you can look forward to a wizard that will significantly simplify the rather large hurdle of installation and configuration. And the community edition of the setup database will certainly come in a first version.
     
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  5. TheBigO

    TheBigO Registered

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    I am back from my holidays and it's done, I can provide you with the new installation and configuration tool today. The configuration process, which has been quite complex and difficult to date, is significantly simplified by the tool. Each configuration step is explained in detail and is supported by a point and click interface. The Setup Wizard uses the same AI technology, which is also used by the race assistants Jona and Cato, to control the configuration process and to discover and prevent senseless settings.

    The configurations created in this way can be loaded and changed at any time using the new Setup Wizard itself or using the familiar configuration tool "Simulator Configuration". While the latter tool supports all functions of Simlator Controller, but also reveals the entire complexity, the new Setup Wizard should already offer sufficient support for most applications.

    There are also some minor improvements that you have requested:

    1. The Push-to-Talk mode now generates a short acoustic signal when the listening mode has been activated.
    2. A new plugin argument of the "System" plugin now allows a more flexible definition of the applications for "Launch" mode.

    By the way, my biggest thanks go to those of you who have supported me intensively over the past few days with testing, in order to find and fix the (hopefully) last errors of the configuration wizard. I would particularly like to mention @iEnki, @ctbr and @Chris Matthews at this point.

    Before you start: Please make backup copies of the files "Simulator Configuration.ini", "Button Box Configuration.ini" and "Simulator Settings.ini" from the folder "Simulator Controller\Config" in your user "Documents" directory. It has been extensively tested, but the new "Simulator Setup" wizard is also a very complex piece of software. So, better safe than sorry...
     
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  6. TheBigO

    TheBigO Registered

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    With todays release, the improvements relating to downloading, installing and configuring the Simulator Controller software have been completed for the time being. An automated download and installation process is now available that installs the software in the Windows operating system without any further effort and can always keep it up to date with automated updates. Of course, the Simulator Controller can continue to be operated as a portable application, i.e. without installation in the Windows Registry, if desired. Please note that with the new procedure, the update to version 3.5.2 is almost like a new installation and therefore be sure to have a backup copy of your local files beforehand (folder "Simulator Controller" in the user "Documents" folder). As always, you can find further information in the Update Notes in the documentation.

    There is also a new and exciting function. It is now possible to adjust the settings for the upcoming pitstop with your Button Box, as long as Jona has already planned AND prepared a pitstop, but this pitstop has not yet been carried out. The settings (for example adjustments to the tyre pressures) changed in this way are automatically transferred to Jona's knowledge base. Unfortunately, due to technical restrictions in the other simulations, this option is only available in "Assetto Corsa Competizione" and "rFactor 2".
     
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  7. TheBigO

    TheBigO Registered

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    Today I have a new tool in my luggage for you with which you can carry out a variety of analyzes after a race. "Race Reports" uses the knowledge base of the virtual Race Strategist Cato and brings two interesting reports with this release:

    1. Position development

    Race Reports 1.JPG

    2. Pace analysis

    Race Reports 2.JPG

    Three more reports are already being planned for the release at the end of next week. You can be curious.

    At this point again the reference to our Discord server (https://discord.gg/5N8JrNr48H). The first Mods for Simulator Controller from the community are already available there.
     
  8. TheBigO

    TheBigO Registered

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    As announced, today's Friday release brings three more reports for the "Race Reports" tool. The "Overview" report gives, as the name suggests, an overview of the participants in the race, the different lap times, the starting positions and the finish. The "Car" report provides an evaluation of various aspects of your own car in the course of the race and the "Driver" report allows different drivers to be compared in the dimensions "Potential", "Race Craft", "Speed", "Consistency" and "Car Control" . In addition, the "Pace" report has been revised and now provides information for the median and the lowest and highest quartile of the lap times. Details on all reports can be found here: https://github.com/SeriousOldMan/Simulator-Controller/wiki/Virtual-Race-Strategist#race-reports

    There are also extensive improvements in voice control when Push-to-Talk is not used. As always, you can find more information about this in the release notes.

    The next release will be a little longer in coming this time. After the voting in the Discord Community, I am now about to implement a tool for developing and simulating race strategies. That takes a little preparatory work.

    At this point I would also like to thank my supporters who make all of this possible, because this is no longer a side project. And I would be very happy to have more supporters. You can find a link to this on GitHub.
     
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  9. TheBigO

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    With this release the development of the "Strategy Workbench" begins. From now on, Cato, the virtual racing strategy, collects important telemetry data from every session and stores it in a database. After the session, this data can be graphically evaluated according to various aspects. In addition, they will serve in the future as a statistical basis for developing different strategy variants in a multi-stint race, as soon as the development of the "Strategy Workbench" has been completed. Note: With Release 3.5.8, this tool can already evaluate the telemetry data, but strategy simulation is not yet possible.

    SWB.JPG
     
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  10. TheBigO

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    Today comes the first usable version of the strategy simulation. With the "Strategy Workbench", a new member of the Simulator Controller software family, different pit stop strategies can be developed, simulated and compared with each other before a race. The simulation uses both directly entered data and telemetry data from previous sessions. The tool is still under development and some functions are not yet available. Details can be found in the documentation: https://github.com/SeriousOldMan/Si.../Virtual-Race-Strategist#strategy-development

    At this point I would like to point out to our Discord community again, which is particularly helpful for newcomers, as the software package with its large number of functions and options is not easy to master at the beginning: https://discord.gg/5N8JrNr48H

    You can download the software here: https://github.com/SeriousOldMan/Simulator-Controller#download-and-installation
     
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  11. TheBigO

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    Here comes another update for the "Strategy Workbench". The functionality is now largely complete:

    1. Rules and settings for the upcoming race can now be loaded from various sources.
    2. A number of borderline cases are correctly mapped in the strategy simulation.
    3. The defined pitstop rules for the are now fully observed.
    4. Strategies can be saved and reloaded at any time.
    5. A comparison of different strategies is possible.

    In the upcoming release (probably on October 22nd, 21) a strategy can be handed over to the virtual race strategist, who can then take care of the implementation of the strategy during the race in cooperation with the virtual race engineer. The driver will be actively called to the pits according to the strategy. In addition, heuristic variations of the stint length, the engine mapping and thus the fuel consumption, as well as the service life of tires in endurance races will be implemented, probably also, at least in parts in the next release. It remains exciting.

    We are currently voting on the next feature in our Discord server. The options are 1. providing the setup database for everyone, 2. comprehensive support for StreamDeck, and, probably the greatest challenge, 3. a cloud-based solution for endurance races so that Jona and Cato are available to all drivers and that knowledge from previous stints. Here is the link to the voting: https://discord.com/channels/852795995049558016/852798195334774784/897443893602320404
     
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  12. TheBigO

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    With today's release, the development of the "Strategy Workbench" has been completed for the time being. The strategy simulation now supports several optimization heuristics in order to determine the best possible strategy. Up to 32 different scenarios are created and compared to each other for each engine map for which lap times for the given conditions and the selected tyre compound are available in the telemetry data. The optimal and maximum service life of the tyres is also taken into account, as is the influence of the car's weight on the lap times.

    As soon as the optimal strategy for the upcoming event has been developed, it can now be handed over to Cato. The virtual racing strategist monitors the race, informs you about upcoming pitstops and forwards the selected pitstop plan (fuel quantity, tire change, etc.) to the race engineer, who then takes care of the pitstop fully automatically. As you can imagine, Cato has learned several new commands for this, both for voice control and for control via a button box or other connected controllers.

    At this point again the reference to the vote for the next feature on Discord: https://discord.com/channels/852795995049558016/852798195334774784/897443893602320404. Last chance to vote here, development will start on Saturday...

    Unbenannt.JPG
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2021
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  13. SmellySkidmark

    SmellySkidmark Registered

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    I'm not able to Download due to some restriction from Cloudflare blocking me. Is there another link or a Mega or something?

    SS
     
  14. TheBigO

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    You are right, sorry. The cloud service, I use for download counting is down. I replaced the download links, so it should work now.
     
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  15. TheBigO

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    Release 3.6.6 is again packed with new functions and features.

    1. The most important innovation is certainly the extensive integration with Stream Deck, which was requested by the community. At the moment the configuration still has to be done with a text file, but the next release will bring a number of graphical tools. You can find the documentation here: https://github.com/SeriousOldMan/Si...tallation-&-Configuration#stream-deck-layouts

    2. A lot has happened also for the assistants. The handling of weather changes during a session has been significantly improved for both Cato, the virtual strategist, and Jona, the virtual engineer. In particular, the recommendation for tyre pressures when changing tyre compounds now also take into account the development of wetness on the track in the next 10-15 minutes. In addition, from now on, only valid rounds will be transferred to the various databases, so that the historical data quality has a higher predictive power.

    3. The "Strategy Workbench" now provides a command for data cleansing, so that all entries in the telemetry database in which fuel consumption or lap times are outside the standard deviation are deleted. Note: It is certainly a good idea to make a backup copy before using this command.

    Attention: This release revises the file for the localized identifiers of all controller actions and introduces support for icons. Any changes made by you will be lost, but can be reintegrated after the update. Be sure to read the update notes beforehand.

    As mentioned above, the next version in 1-2 weeks will bring extensive graphical support for the configuration of the Stream Deck integration. Until then...
     
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  16. TheBigO

    TheBigO Registered

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    It's Friday again. Today the implementation of the Stream Deck Integration will be completed for the time being. There is full graphical support for the configuration of Stream Deck profiles in "Simulator Configuration", but actions can also be assigned to the connected Stream Decks in the initial installation & configuration with "Simulator Setup". For each configurable action of the many plugins (Motion Feedback, ACC, AMS2, Race Engineer, etc.) you can now individually determine the texts and icons that will be displayed on the Stream Deck(s). As always, details can be found in the documentation: https://github.com/SeriousOldMan/Si...stallation-&-Configuration#controller-layouts

    Stream Deck Editor 2.JPG

    You will not hear from me for a little longer now. When voting on the next feature on our Discord server, the server solution for team-based endurance races was selected, a feature that I've wanted to work on for a long time. I'm currently checking whether I can offer a cloud-based, pay-per-use version for everyone who doesn't want to go to the trouble or who don't have the skills to host their own server. Don't worry, it won't be expensive. Rather in the range of 20 euro cents per hour of use. However, all of this will take "a little" longer. Maybe it will be something for the first "birthday of Simulator Controller, which will be on December 15th. But just maybe, let's see ...

    In the meantime, keep checking our Discord (https://discord.gg/5N8JrNr48H), especially if you have questions about the configuration. And of course, if you want to buy me a coffee, you can do that too.
     
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  17. TheBigO

    TheBigO Registered

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    Big news: The Team Server is here. With this solution, the services of the virtual Race Assistants can also be used in a team-based endurance race, as long as all team members use Simulator Controller and are connected to the server during the entire race. The central server manages the common status and knowledge base of the Racing Assistant and automatically makes them available to all drivers involved when they take over the car for their next stint. As always, you will find extensive information in the documentation.

    The Team Server can be hosted and operated by yourself or a cloud server managed by me will soon be available in a pay-per-use model for everyone who wants to use such a service. The costs will be absolutely manageable. Details will follow. In the meantime, you can use a test server to test the connection and administration of your teams and you can also run a short race. You will find details about this on our Discord (https://discord.gg/5N8JrNr48H) in the channel #public-test-server.

    Configuration Tab 10.JPG

    Disclaimer: With today's release, the Team Server is in the alpha stage. In particular, the handling of the large amounts of data still needs a little fine-tuning, which will follow with the next releases in a week or two. Until then, I would not recommend running a 24-hour race with it.

    In addition to this great innovation, there are a few other improvements:

    1. Extensive bug fixes in "Simulator Setup" in connection with the Stream Deck integration.
    2. Improvement in strategy development, especially in so-called mixed scenarios.
    3. The voice output now also supports non-Microsoft voice packages as long as the SPVoice standard is adhered to.
    4. Additional languages are supported when using Azure Cognitive Services.

    By the way, Kunos published a very extensive update for Assetto Corsa Competizione 2 days ago, in which the tyre model was also heavily revised. As a result, the cold air pressures under comparable conditions and also the lap times have changed significantly on many tracks. On our Discord, in the #tools-and-fixes channel, I have published a small program with which the laboriously collected data in the setup and telemetry database can be brought up to date, at least on average. But if you want to be on the safe side, you can also delete the existing data and "collect" it again.

    The voting for the next feature on our Discord server is currently tending towards a new team member, a spotter. Exciting topic, also from a software development perspective.

    And now as always, have fun and see you on the track...
     
  18. TheBigO

    TheBigO Registered

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    With todays release, the Team Server can now also be used for long endurance races, as the data of all drivers involved (telemetry, tire pressures, race progress, standings and positions, etc.) are now stored in the server. Also, from now on, expired data from past laps that are no longer required for statistical calculations are removed from the knowledge base of the assistants. This significantly reduces memory consumption and - as a positive side effect - all data from all stints are made available to all drivers at the end of the race. In addition, quite a few bugs have been fixed and the Team Server has been successfully tested in several longer races. With the next release there will be an administration interface for creating and maintaining accounts, as well as for cleaning up expired sessions, etc. for everyone who wants to operate the Team Server themselves. In a few days, but no later than January, the public Team Server will also be available in the cloud. Use is billed via Patreon:

    https://www.patreon.com/simulatorcontroller

    For € 2 a month there are 30 hours of session time available on the server. That's enough for two 12h races and enough test time in the team. If you want more, you can get unlimited access for 5 € per month.

    Another important change in this release concerns the controls of the ACC Pitstop window. Adjustments were made here so that the changes in Release 1.8 of ACC are also taken into account.
     
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  19. TheBigO

    TheBigO Registered

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    No, it's not Friday and yet today is a special day. Exactly one year ago, on December 6th, 2020, the first executable version of Simulator Controller was published on GitHub. For this reason there is an interim release today to celebrate the anniversary. I really had to hurry up to finish a very interesting function for you, because I only had 2 days for development and test. Still, I think it was worth it. You can now have the settings for a pit stop made by any team member in a team race, and that also and especially in the simulations that actually do not support this at all, such as ACC. The telemetry data for the entire session is also available to everyone in real time, regardless of who is driving. The new tool, the "Race Console" is still at the very beginning of development. At the end of the day you can expect a fully-fledged team console, as it is also used by "real" racing teams, a mixture of "Strategy Workbench" and "Race Reports", so to speak, but with the data from the current race. The function of the pitstop remote control is already fully implemented and can be used in a team race.

    Team Dashboard 1.JPG

    There is also another new tool in the luggage. This helps with the administration of a team server - important for everyone who wants to operate their own team server. If you don't want to go to this trouble, have a look here: https://www.patreon.com/simulatorcontroller
     
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  20. TheBigO

    TheBigO Registered

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    Today comes probably the last release for 2021. And with the "Race Center" it brings the wet dream of every endurance team. But even professional sprint racers who are accompanied by a race engineer during their races will love this new tool. The "Race Center" gives all team members full insight into all telemetry data of your car during the race, even if they are not currently driving. They don't need to be inside the simulation at all to use the tool. Furthermore, "Race Center" gives you an overview of the race and your performance as well as that of your competitors and allows the remote control of important settings, e.g. for the upcoming pit stop by team members who are not driving right now. This is a huge relief for the driver. Since pictures say more than 1000 words, here are a few screenshots.

    Race Center 1.JPG

    Race Center 2.JPG

    Race Center 3.JPG

    In one of the next releases, some more strategy functions will be added, in particular a simulation of future racing using the Monte Carlo method. This procedure, which is also used by Cato, the virtual racing strategist, allows the optimization of over- and undercut scenarios. For a comprehensive overview of the functions of "Race Center" I recommend, as always, a look at the documentation.

    For understandable reasons the "Race Center" needs the Team Server, which was introduced in one of the last releases. So that you can start your team race straight away, the team server I manage is available to everyone from today. This runs on Azure, which is unfortunately not without costs, therefore: https://www.patreon.com/simulatorcontroller. But as mentioned above, you can also run your team server yourself. Simulator Controller is and will remain an open, free software.
     
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