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  • Radiator Springs Racers Ride Vehicle - How Does It Work?

    I have searched in vain to find out exactly how the RSR's ride vehicle works (what is with that slot?). I read on Wikipedia that Indiana Jones, Journey to the Center of the Earth, Test Track, and RSR all share an "Enhanced Motion Vehicle" feature, but Indy vehicles have no slot and both Test Track and RSR do. Can anyone explain the mechanics behind the "slot" cars?
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  • #2
    Re: Radiator Springs Racers Ride Vehicle - How Does It Work?

    Indy does have a slot too. Anyway, the cars are attached to a mechanical assembly trough the slot to a carriage that is mounted to steel tracks very similar to a roller coaster. The carriage also has a power supply connection that rides along a power supply "track". The vehicles use this power supply to provide their own propulsion with electric motors that are in the rear of the vehicles. The movement is actually achieved through the tires on the track surface, just like a real car. There are pictures of the carriage and tracks as well as the patent for Indy that show the system in details if you're interested. Just search the site and you'll find them.
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    • #3
      Re: Radiator Springs Racers Ride Vehicle - How Does It Work?

      It seems as if there are common design elements between the RSR ride vehicles and the Indy ride vehicles. Here is a schematic from Wiki for the Indy ride vehicle:
      Click image for larger version

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      but this emphasizes the motion control carriage feature. Do the RSR vehicles have any motion control elements, or are they basically Indy slot cars that have the passenger area "fixed" to the chassis?
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      • #4
        Re: Radiator Springs Racers Ride Vehicle - How Does It Work?

        It has been 10+ years since I had introduction to the Test Track (TT) ride system, though I can still provide you with a decent description. Apologies upfront for length of post and language used to describe, as I am an electrical engineer that specializes in motion control.

        For starters, the slot is integral to the whole TT ride system, just as it is for the Enhanced Motion Vehicles (EMV's) of Indy and Dinosaur, as the slot provides mechanical guidance. Now I like to describe TT, and now Radiator Springs Racers (RSR) as a 12" to the foot scale slot car or life size to you and me (engineer joke); because that is exactly what it is a life size slot car track and a most incredible engineering feat.

        So under the road surface is a mechanical guide rail on both sides of the slot. These rails are similar to a roller coaster, as described in an earlier post. I am not certain how RSR's 3rd generation mechanical design may differ from TT's 1st generation, though I believe the main guide assemblies may be compatible. Anyways, there are a total of 22 wheels guiding your ride vehicle and we only see the 4 on the upper side of the road surface. On the underside there are 4 sets guide wheel assemblies, where each assembly has 5 wheels. Each assembly consists of 4 wheels (guide wheels) running parallel to the road surface, with 2 inside the guide rail and 2 outside the guide rail; this would provide a stable and very safe guide system to handle the lateral forces generated. Then each of these assemblies would have 1 wheel (upstop wheel) on the underside of the guide rail providing protection from forces generated upwards and thus keep the car on the track.

        Additionally under the road surface there are 6 electrical bus bars, with 3 on each of the slot and running the entire length of the track. One set of 3 bus bars carry the 480 V AC electrical supply voltage in 3-phases; this is the standard medium voltage that feeds everyone including Disneyland, when it comes into our homes the voltage has been split into a single phase and stepped down to 120 V AC. The 480 bus feeds the cars motor controller; if I recall correctly was custom designed by WDI's Show Ride group, more on that later. The other bus bars carry 2 lines to feed the data signals that all of the cars use to talk to each other and the main ride controller called Wayside and the third rail is ground.

        Now each car uses a 250 horsepower electric motor and is capable of generating full power at 6000 rpm to the rear wheels. I recall the motor also has an integrated encoder to tell the motion controller how fast the motor is turning and in what direction it is rotating. The motion controller is separate computer onboard each car and is one of 3 computers on board. One of the other computers provides the audio and other show cues onboard the ride vehicle. The last computer is the master and sends and receives commands from the car in front of and behind as well as Wayside and then tells the other computers what to do. R

        Remember this is 10+ years old information and I am much older now . I certainly would love hear from anyone else that has updated and even corrected information. Any other questions regarding basic theories of operation, etc. I am happy to oblige, as much of what I do in my work is similar to what WDI is doing too. Thanks for reading.

        -Justin

        ---------- Post added 06-12-2012 at 01:00 PM ----------

        Dag gum. I forgot to compare and contrast to the Indiana Jones (EMV) ride system. I will make this as brief as possible.

        Now the EMV works in much the same way RSR. Similar guidance system. Similar propulsion, though much smaller motors. Indy does not move forward nearly as fast as RSR; I believe max forward velocity is less than 20 mph with the EMV, where RSR can move forward up to 40 mph and TT goes 65 mph.

        Part of the reason the EMV moves slower, other than the show elements, is ride vehicle has motion base sitting on top. I know the motion base is at least 4 degrees of freedom; moving forward and back (pitching), as well as side to side (rolling) though it may also be able to left to right (yawing). From an engineering standpoint the motion created by the motion base probably limits forward velocity.

        Now the EMV has a motion controller for the forward motion, a show controller for onboard audio, a master controller and possibly a 4th controller for the motion base, though that motion could be controlled from the main motion controller as additional axis.

        There I hope this helps further. Thanks again for reading along.

        -Justin

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        • #5
          Re: Radiator Springs Racers Ride Vehicle - How Does It Work?

          Outstanding description, Justin! You made it intelligible to a non-engineer and gave me a good understanding of the ride system.
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          • #6
            Re: Radiator Springs Racers Ride Vehicle - How Does It Work?

            This maybe off topic but........
            we all know we're the storage area on the ride is
            now look at a track layout closely and you can see an other track in lugies that comes from the tractor tipping area kinda what is that for you may see it in a pov
            Take a look at some of my models I make at kolbykonnection.com

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            • #7
              Re: Radiator Springs Racers Ride Vehicle - How Does It Work?

              Not off topic at all and a very good question. Just take a look at some other attractions and you will see two access points to the maintenance bay. The idea is simple, vehicle enters the bay in one door and exits back into the show from the other. Therefore the maintenance bay track is essentially a siding in parallel to the main ride path.

              -Justin

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              • #8
                Re: Radiator Springs Racers Ride Vehicle - How Does It Work?

                Ok and there is a transfer table like in many coasters
                but what about that track in Luigi's
                Take a look at some of my models I make at kolbykonnection.com

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                • #9
                  Re: Radiator Springs Racers Ride Vehicle - How Does It Work?

                  Originally posted by MickeysImagination View Post
                  Dag gum. I forgot to compare and contrast to the Indiana Jones (EMV) ride system. I will make this as brief as possible.

                  Now the EMV works in much the same way RSR. Similar guidance system. Similar propulsion, though much smaller motors. Indy does not move forward nearly as fast as RSR; I believe max forward velocity is less than 20 mph with the EMV, where RSR can move forward up to 40 mph and TT goes 65 mph.

                  Part of the reason the EMV moves slower, other than the show elements, is ride vehicle has motion base sitting on top. I know the motion base is at least 4 degrees of freedom; moving forward and back (pitching), as well as side to side (rolling) though it may also be able to left to right (yawing). From an engineering standpoint the motion created by the motion base probably limits forward velocity.

                  Now the EMV has a motion controller for the forward motion, a show controller for onboard audio, a master controller and possibly a 4th controller for the motion base, though that motion could be controlled from the main motion controller as additional axis.

                  There I hope this helps further. Thanks again for reading along.

                  -Justin
                  Speaking of Information that is 10+ years old (well most of it on this page), here is some possible useful info to consider: General Motors' Test Track, Epcot, Fun Facts
                  This website is complied from user submitted info, so take it with a grain of salt.

                  Going through the list, the first bit of technical info we see is a statement about the speed of the vehicles. The original concept of the ride was going to have it going 95 mph, but that need a bank of the curve too steep to be safe, a fact that has sources elsewhere. The second bit about a max speed of the ride vehicle at 150 mph is something I have not heard of before, nor have I seen anything else. A speed of 150 mph on a ride is fast, and of course when talking safety, it most likely wouldn't be, and so Disney wouldn't design or plan to build a ride of that speed, but sure, the ride vehicles may be capable of that.

                  A note on the different speeds of the EMV and the RSR cars, the RSR car only has the force of the forward movement of that car to worry about (and what comes with that with lateral and horizontal motion), whereas looking at the diagram of the EMV's, they have not only the forces of the RSR car, but the forces of moving the passengers and tilting them. Let's say that one of those vehicles holds 12 people, at an average of 180. 2160 pounds being moved around. Forces fighting forces isn't good, especially when you want everything to run properly, and last for a long time.

                  The next interesting bit is reported by "Disney/GM"

                  Test Track facts
                  1. The crash-test dummies will be struck in the chest, banged on the knees and have their necks bent in pre-show demonstrations 720 times per day.
                  2. Maximum speed reached by test vehicles is Disney's fastest at 65 mph.
                  3. Each test vehicle was designed to last 1 million miles! Enough miles to make a trip from the Earth to the Moon more than four times.
                  4. Each test vehicle will travel 50,000 miles per year. Equivalent to nearly four times the miles the average U.S. car is driven annually.
                  5. Each vechicle was designed to last 1,000,000 miles
                  6. 250 horsepower is generated by each test vehicle. This is roughly equal to the super-charged 3.8 Liter/240 horsepower 1997 Pontiac Grand Prix
                  7. The test vehicle go from 0-65 mph in 8.8 seconds.
                  8. The "highway" loops around building which is 320-feet diameter.
                  9. The test vehicle have three computers each of which have more processing power than the entire Space Shuttle.
                  10. You will go through 34 turns
                  11. Read the 85 road signs.
                  12. There are 2108 blue anechoic cones lining the walls and ceiling at electromagnetic compatibility test in attractions pre-show
                  13. There are 4 visible wheels per vehicle but 22 total wheels on each vehicle.
                  14. There are 6 braking systems on board each vehicle unlike the one or two braking systems on cars sold today .
                  15. The vehicle's chassis is made of composite materials
                  16. The display vehicle will collide headfirst, then reset, in high-speed barrier test 4446 times per day.

                  REPORTED: Disney/GM 13 FEB 97
                  From this we are told there are 22 wheels total, 4 of which we can see, there is 6 total braking systems on the cars somewhere in the car, the car has 250 hp and a few more possibly useful facts.

                  Number 28 talks about how during testing they turned off 75 of the rides safety features and ran the ride, causing a car to crash. Rather than just saying all of the safety features were turned off, this person decided to say 75 were leading me to believe that there might be more.


                  Moving away from that page I remember that wikipedia states that test track is on for 20 hours a day due to long opening and closing operations, I wonder if RSR is the same. I also remember reading somewhere that the TT vehicles have 3 on-board computers, two that both talk to the one master which controls the car and the other two computers.

                  And according to wikipedia the max EMV speed on ride is 13 mph.

                  Now what about those WDW TOT ride vehicles?

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                  • #10
                    Re: Radiator Springs Racers Ride Vehicle - How Does It Work?

                    Originally posted by mratigan View Post
                    Ok and there is a transfer table like in many coasters
                    but what about that track in Luigi's
                    I have been watching some videos and that particular track segment, on the left as the vehicle enters Luigi's, is the exit from the maintenance bay. The large curtain hides the roll gate.

                    -Justin

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                    • #11
                      Re: Radiator Springs Racers Ride Vehicle - How Does It Work?

                      Ok is that ether
                      A)a dead end track
                      B) a track that connects to the other side of the sets (the part whare mater is in the bush)
                      C) it connects to the storage area at the start of the ride and whare the transfer table is at
                      Take a look at some of my models I make at kolbykonnection.com

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                      • #12
                        Re: Radiator Springs Racers Ride Vehicle - How Does It Work?

                        Originally posted by mratigan View Post
                        Ok is that ether
                        A)a dead end track
                        B) a track that connects to the other side of the sets (the part whare mater is in the bush)
                        C) it connects to the storage area at the start of the ride and whare the transfer table is at
                        My apologies. I was not clear. It would pass you through the maintenance bay and right back to the start of the ride. Now I have not yet ridden RSR, so I'm not sure of the show building layout. I guess it would be possible that Mater backs up to maintenance. It appears to me that Sally and Lightning also back up to maintence.

                        -Justin

                        ---------- Post added 06-12-2012 at 11:29 PM ----------

                        Originally posted by Evanator View Post
                        Now what about those WDW TOT ride vehicles?
                        Another great ride system. Very different from RSR which would take this thread off topic. Perhaps the question could posed in the WDW forum. Unless the moderators are okay with it.

                        -Justin

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                        • #13
                          Re: Radiator Springs Racers Ride Vehicle - How Does It Work?

                          Thank justin
                          Take a look at some of my models I make at kolbykonnection.com

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                          • #14
                            Re: Radiator Springs Racers Ride Vehicle - How Does It Work?

                            Originally posted by MickeysImagination View Post
                            My apologies. I was not clear. It would pass you through the maintenance bay and right back to the start of the ride. Now I have not yet ridden RSR, so I'm not sure of the show building layout. I guess it would be possible that Mater backs up to maintenance. It appears to me that Sally and Lightning also back up to maintence.

                            -Justin


                            I am not sure this is correct. The track into Luigi's simply seems to connct to another portion of the track by the tractors and is not even close to the maintenance bay in the top left of the show building.

                            Layout of Carsland (Radiator Springs) | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

                            So if it doesn't lead to maintenance... what is it's purpose?

                            Disneyland Wooooh!

                            "You see- Everybody's got a laughin' place, trouble is most folks won't take the time to go look for it."

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                            • #15
                              Re: Radiator Springs Racers Ride Vehicle - How Does It Work?

                              Here are some photos I took last year at D23. This vehicle may have been a prototype, but it gives you a visual look underneath.











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