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AI and More coming to iRacing!

iRacing’s Tony Gardner posted this update today about what to expect from iRacing in 2018!

First of all, Happy New Year to all of our members. We also want to sincerely thank you for your membership.

We know that some members are always curious what is next in regard to development. We do try and share what we can when appropriate. Various factors may dictate when we start discussing development on xyz feature, upgrade or xyz content.

We also might not exactly work on what you want as fast as you want, but keep in mind we are developing for many types of racing. The totality of all the “niches” makes iRacing a much better and sustainable sim for everyone. We also believe action speaks louder than words and we are proud of what we accomplished in 2017.

It would be too long for a forum post to cover everything we are working on nor can I talk about everything for various reasons. However, I can confirm a few of the larger projects in the works that we have already discussed publically and spill the beans on a new project.

New graphical and physical damage model. Making great progress on this massive project and we are really excited about it. There are so many different parts to it but getting to the polish on many parts of it. We expect to move it into the testing environment in the coming months and shooting for a 2018 release but as usual no promises.

Dynamic time of day/moving clouds/day to night. Working night and day on day to night and the goal is to release this year.

New Tire Model Version. Already testing locally and we are excited about it, Dave Kaemmer to write about in the coming weeks. Again, should release this year.

New Interface and User experience inside and out of the sim. The new app is now in beta, and members have access to it. The first giant step is to get the new design and application up and working with our new technology to include all the functionality and more of our existing website. We are almost there in that regard. We still have many plans once that happens so it will be a continued evolution over a long period of time. For example, we have much more we want to do when it comes to user-experience, this new system and app will allow us to do that. For example, we want to create an onboarding process for new members including getting them on track with some basic instruction, guided tours, more on-line help, better organization and much more.

Ok, this will be a “shocker” to some. We are working on AI/Artificial cars and in fact very far down the road with the project. In fact, we should release it this year as well. Hardcore folks take a deep breath. We are not straying even the slightest from our philosophy of trying to create the most accurate and detailed simulation we can along with the best head to head racing competition. This has been an isolated project being done by a small team and has not impacted any other development.

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However, having this feature will allow for many opportunities for members and for us to continue to grow. It will allow members to practice in a simulated setting before getting on track with real cars which is a good thing, especially for people new to sim racing. It will also allow for a more relaxed and fun format which will be a welcome addition from time to time for even hard-core members. Now you don’t need to go to another racing game for AI. Ha Ha. It will bring in many new members who will use it as a stepping stone to head to head racing. It allows us to have a much more competitive demo option for potential new customers in various settings like trade shows or even on-line trials. At the end of the day, it is a huge feature and request in regard to the overall market. It will be a free addition to members and yet another option for you under your membership. If AI not for you, great, but you will still benefit. The work has helped improve our multiplayer net code and player car code which will be out on members about the time we launch AI. We also feel it will help novice drivers and again boost the overall service.

Right now our plan is roll out options of one-off AI races along with a season-long “career” in which you can build your own schedule/series. We have other plans as well down the road to increase the fun factor in regard AI. We likely will roll out AI for a large chunk of the racing including oval and road. Some cars and types of racing might be held back initially because of all the different variables we need to work out. For example joker laps and going over the jumps for GRC. There are many other things like that which we are working on now. The web development side of this is also significant and still much work to do there before we can roll it out. There will be a “difficulty” choice or “slider” option. More information as we get closer will be available.

Alright, well, this is getting long but much more in the works in terms of features and improvements.

As far as content, working on multiple new tracks including road, oval, dirt and GRC and a complete redo of an oval track. Hopefully we will plug away on more tracks. Literally dozens of cars in the works in some form of production or licensing. Including many new road cars and updates to existing road and oval cars. We already shared working on LMP1 cars, you should have those as soon as the next season build. These cars are a lot of work to build! More to come on content and everything else as we move forward. I hope you liked the Chili Bowl Video.

We are expecting another good year, and we hope you agree when the year is over.

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