rFactor Pro itself is a bit of a legend in the sim racing community. First of all, we know that it does exists. Also, the consumer rFactor 2 benefits from it and many racing teams and manufacturers around the world use it for testing purposes too. But rarely do we get to see footage of it in motion, nor do we know what it actually has to offer.
A couple of days ago, new information on the simulator has surfaced on autocarpro.in – it now also simulates motorcycles.
Ansible Motion, an English company building Driver-in-the-Loop (DIL) simulators, is the one to take the challenge of building the corresponding motion simulator.
Driver-in-the-Loop is an expression derived from Human-in-the-Loop, which “is defined as a model that requires human interaction”, in this case a simulator. In short, the driver is there to improve otherwise maybe only computed simulation results.
Being able to simulate a motorcycle up to the point that it could replace real-world testing is a whole different challenge compared to simulating four-wheeled vehicles. Here is what Chris Hoyle, rFactor Pro’s technical director, had to say on the matter.
Simulating the dynamics of a motorcycle accurately is incredibly challenging due to the mobility of the rider and the unique steering characteristics of the vehicle,” said Hoyle. “By working alongside a motorcycle manufacturer to create our technology, we have been able to develop and validate solutions to these hurdles and so enable DIL simulation to significantly reduce development time and cost.
The field of view is also a factor:
A car driver is restricted by the windows, bonnet and roofline; he can look around freely, but only upwards and downwards through a range of 20-30 degrees. The motorcycle rider can look anywhere, even down at the road surface, and once banked into a turn, because the rider is still upright on the motion platform, the horizon must be banked over to provide the correct visual cues.
Another info we can gather from this project, which is being built for a “confidential customer”, is that rFactor Pro seems to support VR too.
rFactor Pro still remains quite a mystery but maybe, now that it has also entered the world of motorcycles, we can look forward to hearing more from it in the future.