Elvas Tower: Autopilot mode - Elvas Tower

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Autopilot mode

#1 User is offline   Csantucci 

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Posted 20 November 2014 - 01:09 PM

DISCLAIMER: autopilot mode is not a simulation of a train running with cruise control; instead, it is at first place a way to test activities more easily and faster. So, at least for the moment, it does not pretend to be something "elegant".
However it can also be used to run an activity (or part of it, as it is possible to turn on and off autopilot mode at runtime) as a trainspotter (or a visitor within the cab).
Autopilot mode is now committed since release 2683.
Autopilot mode is enabled with the related checkbox in the Experimental Options. It is active only in activity mode (no explorer, no timetable mode).
Starting the game with any activity you are in player driving mode. If you press Alt-A, you enter the autopilot mode: you are in the loco's cabview with the train moving autonomously accordingly to path and station stops and of course respecting speed limits and signals. You still have control over horn, bell, lights, doors, and some other controls that do not affect train running. The main levers are controlled by the autopilot mode, and most indications are correct. I havent' yet blocked influence of all keypresses (it is a lengthy thing), so I take no responsibility if you to try to enter commands against the autonomous movement of the train.
When running forwards, yYou can at any moment switch back to player driven mode, by pressing ALT/A, and can again switch to autopilot mode by pressing again ALT/A.
When in player driven mode you can also change cab or direction. However, if you return to autopilot mode, you must be on the train's path; other cases are not yet managed. When in player driven mode you can also switch to manual, but before returning to autopilot mode you must first return to auto mode.
When running backwards you can switch between autopilot mode and player driven mode only when train is stopped (I have disabled the switch with moving train, even if it is working, because there is some problem with physics that causes a fast reduction of speed before running regularly again).
I have made my best to synchronize station stops, waiting points and reverse points in the two modes.
Cars can be uncoupled also in autopilot mode (but check that the train will stop enough time, else better pass to player driven mode). A static consist can also be coupled in autopilot mode.
Request to clear signal (TAB) works in the sense that the signal opens. However in autopilot mode by the moment the train stops. You have to pass to player driven mode, to pass the signal and then you can return to autopilot mode.

Revised 5/12/14

#2 User is offline   mauried 

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Posted 20 November 2014 - 04:09 PM

Really great feature.
Sure helps in debugging long routes.
So far works really well.
Havnt as yet tried shunting ,but will experiment a bit more tomorrow.
Thanks for implementing this .

#3 User is offline   Dogbert 

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Posted 21 November 2014 - 06:57 AM

Great feature but the activity crashed on me after 6 or 7 mins, when i moved the external camera.

Good work though, the Garratt ran off shed reversed and coupled to the consist unaided. :bigboss:

http://i409.photobucket.com/albums/pp177/GeorgeJacksonChurchward/OpenRails2014-11-2102-34-33.png

http://i409.photobucket.com/albums/pp177/GeorgeJacksonChurchward/OpenRails2014-11-2102-35-12.png

http://i409.photobucket.com/albums/pp177/GeorgeJacksonChurchward/OpenRails2014-11-2102-35-47.png

http://i409.photobuc...-2102-37-24.png

#4 User is offline   Csantucci 

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Posted 21 November 2014 - 11:30 AM

Dogbert,
could you pls. upload the OpenRailsLog.txt file of the crash?

#5 User is offline   Dogbert 

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Posted 21 November 2014 - 02:49 PM

View PostCsantucci, on 21 November 2014 - 11:30 AM, said:

Dogbert,
could you pls. upload the OpenRailsLog.txt file of the crash?


Sorry buddy login is disabled, but i will enable it and if it happens again i will post the logfile for you.

Another thing that the Autopilot function does not seem to be able to cope with, are UK ground (shunt) signals.

Whenever a shunt signal is encountered the autopilot controlled loco comes to a stop and the signal does not come off (clear).

Loco has to be returned to player control to pass the signal and then autopilot re-engaged.

#6 User is offline   captain_bazza 

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Posted 21 November 2014 - 03:56 PM

A major and cleverly designed utility for OR, thank you.

Cheers Bazza.

#7 User is offline   ATW 

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Posted 21 November 2014 - 04:07 PM

Nice kit and great job. It acts just like the MSTS Introductory Train Ride mode but with better features but still uses the Throttle, Train Brake jokey (no dynamics) too fast even with heavy vibrating alike air braking an makes me think if AI's do the same thing when we don't see how it's controlled. I'm going to test out an see how it acts in the same activity when it comes to fuel like efficiency on speeds an durability as the improvements I like to see are controlled accelerations if an check option can be implemented for both auto pilot an player since in real life a new software option has been made to save fuel called a trip/fuel optimizer an controls acceleration to a limit of company choice on such a big power light consist they think the priority of a train should be in fuel power savings. Other than that this is a great addition to follow an experiment with for some of us that wish to be the conductor sitting in or engineers taking turns :)

BTW my pilot didn't stop but did slow to about a constant speed of 30MPH a mile away for a red light an ran it an kept going an on my end may have to set my signals in sigcfg to have speed's. The reason for my idea about accelerations is not just for realism but because my 2nd auto pilot broke a knuckle by giving the train max full power at the start then kept going.

#8 User is offline   Csantucci 

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Posted 21 November 2014 - 11:17 PM

Thank you for appreciation and for notices. :)
The autopiloted train is in fact an AI train with modified and added capabilities. So it uses throttle and brake exactly as an AI train does. As my disclaimer says, it is not a train imitating a real cruise control.
Dogbert, referring to closed shunting signals, do you pass them with TAB? If yes, it is a known issue that in autopilot mode you have to switch to player driven to pass such signals. If instead player train passes them without TAB, I have to check further the code. At a first glance I found nothing about such behavior.

#9 User is offline   JohnnyS 

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Posted 22 November 2014 - 12:39 AM

Hello Carlo,

Thanks for your work, the concept seems to work very well. One observation, the trackside camera (camera #4) does not follow the player train when selected. The veiwpoint appears to be deep underground and not moving though ambient sounds can be heard.

Cheers,
John.

#10 User is offline   Dogbert 

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Posted 22 November 2014 - 08:42 AM

Carlo, no shunt signals should clear automatically buddy.

Just as signals on the main line do.

Under player control, the same movements in the activity, will see those shunt signals clearing correctly.

They do not under autopilot control of the loco.

Hope that helps. :sign_oops:

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