Second Person In The Car: "Dead Or Alive" For The Co-Driver

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The experience of following a car is a 'voice of experience'. The co-driver is more of a position for me, a perfect grandstand for a comprehensive understanding of driving, riding in a car and the road. This position, in a way, permeates a period of my past travel life and my work as a tour leader.

When driving, even if you treat yourself as a machine to deal with all the things on the road, you are more than powerless, when a good co-driver would naturally be the icing on the cake.

A little experience, just to throw in the towel.


The co-driver of this production of "Headword D" is, naturally, Sasetsu of the "Impact Blue" duo that caught the eye on Usui Ice Mountain.

If Akina SpeedStar's Iketani and Takumi's old friend Aki were once considered "appearance" co-drivers, it seems to have more significance in terms of counterweight (laughs).

In the piece, Sasetsu has not only participated in everything as a narrator, but also directly singled out what kind of meaning the existence of such a person carries -- which isn't such a shameful thing. Of course, Usui's role as a co-driver for Usui's fastest legend, who is also sort of the only female driver in the Touhou D series, is of course to make Mako go faster, to better use the 'local advantage', and to better carry out the absolute efficiency of driving.

Race and Road Book

In reality, the term navigator is generally found in rally events and its role is to guide the driver through the event, to support the driver in driving in the correct direction and speed using road books and navigation equipment, and to be present as an aid and support person to the driver (including extrication and repairing the car). The co-driver is able to do his job competently and the driver is able to focus more on the race and on squeezing the speed out of the car.

A brief description from the Dusty website> In rally racing, the road book (Pacenotes/Road Book) is used to accurately describe the road ahead The Pacenotes/Road Book is a general method used to accurately describe the road conditions ahead and to suggest in the smallest detail how the driver should drive. The road book not only describes the course in general, but also records details such as corners and intersections, including the characteristic markers on the course and the speed at which to pass them. These detail records include the distance between two markers, the angle and sharpness of corners, arched pavement, hills, hill jumps, type and condition of road surface, potholes in the road, special tips for drivers, etc.

-- Dust: Rally on Roadbook Basics and Detailed Explanations

Dust the game does a good job of reverting to the use of the roadbook, along with a very detailed official explanation of this element. But the roadbook is always a complex and precise thing, and it's better to understand it in more depth through gameplay and realistic matches, so I won't expand on that here.

In today's day and age, the road book for almost every driver is a reminder from the Chipper. The vast majority of people rely on, and most of them also stem from the voice announcements and the arrows and lane prompts on the navigation, those visual, recognizable navigation messages.

Some (and perhaps most) will say: isn't that enough already?

Co-driver and Pilot

The role of the co-driver, it seems, is not so clichéd and rarely attracts attention in the absolute sense - the co-driver is not an instrumentalist, but sometimes needs to play the role of one. But in either role, superb powers of observation and a reservoir of knowledge and inheritance sufficient to cope with a thousand changes are rare.

  • The role of the navigator in scenarios such as races, long-distance operational drives, etc.
  • Engineers for the whole vehicle engineering and monitoring of the status of each vehicle sensor during the vehicle testing and trials phase.
  • (a) To act as a backup for the driving ability of the second driver in the event of natural disasters and bad road conditions.

Despite having navigation to rely on in everyday driving activities, the fact remains that in unfamiliar areas it is still not possible to take into account every aspect that stems from road participants, different regional driving habits, special road markings and visual recognition barriers, etc.

Of course, even seasoned veteran drivers can get defeated on a road they've never been on before - it's common. That's why there are times when an experienced co-driver is even more important than the driver himself - times when the need for each other is not just an unimpeachable need, but more like a dependence out of survival instincts.

And the person involved in the driving process also tends to reflect the person's unique way of thinking, and the different ways of interpreting or thinking in different contexts. In what is commonly referred to as the concept of pilotage, the person sitting in the co-pilot's seat is required to do these things.

  1. Assist the driver in reminding the occupants of the vehicle of safety measures, such as seat belts and luggage placement.
  2. Assist in identifying navigational information, such as intersections, turnouts, signage, etc., and provide timely alerts in accordance with road information.
  3. Remain awake and be aware of the driver's mental state at all times to prevent fatigue.
  4. Communication with vehicles in front and behind while the convoy is moving.
  5. Rotation of personnel as a resource for driving skills.
  6. As counterweights.

Ultimately, the drive is guaranteed to be safe and smooth and the trip goes smoothly.

In actuality, these specific few things specifically encompass the following.

  • Safety responsibility and awareness ensured. Make sure passengers are buckled up after the driver has checked the condition of the vehicle. Give support to the driver while driving to ensure that he or she is conscious and able to drive the vehicle properly. For novice drivers, it is absolutely necessary for the passenger sitting next to them to provide adequate warning to prevent dangerous driving behaviour, dangerous weather and road conditions from causing an accident.
  • Identifying and correcting navigation information. The elements covered here are map recognition and field decision making. The former "map recognition" is relatively easy to understand, that is, to see if the road can correspond to the direction you are going, where you need to get off the ramp, at which twisted intersection you need to turn, to identify the location of the turn and information in advance, and timely alert - such as early lane change, curve speed, and the tendency of the front and rear cars to accelerate and decelerate and status. The latter "field decision" involves the language environment, knowledge base and other more intrinsic needs, such as self-driving abroad, inbound self-driving, etc., and plays a function closer to ground connection.
  • Field observations and supporting complex decisions. Usually it's homework to be done when preparing to start the next ride, a warning of a cut-off, the right direction to go next, and a time of arrival that can probably be predicted. Such information is also in the mind of the person taking the ride, and does not distract the person driving too much from such trivial matters.

Differences in co-drivers in three roles

It certainly doesn't make much sense to talk about the characters themselves outside of the scenes, so it's time to bring out these three characters here. All are co-drivers, but perhaps there are so many differences. While most of these three role differences require responding to external information flow, the core function of service and primary driver seems to be equally constant.

Most of the time when working with the main driver, there are also different driving scenarios and different demands from person to person. Even after many years of sitting in this position, I can feel the variety of needs of different drivers in different situations.

As someone's co-driver

If you love your TA, put him in the back seat and fasten your seat belt. If you can, it's best to stay awake.

I'm sure that no mature driver wants to have a dozing co-driver sitting on the passenger side or one that obscures the rear view mirror. It is naturally better to be able to provide assistance that is directly related to driving behavior.

I really became aware of the importance of co-driving from a past overseas car rental trip, and renting a car overseas requires dealing with more than the 'just one thing' of knowing how to drive in a different context, in addition to.

  • Understanding and real time translation of English road signs, road sign recognition.
  • Knowledge of American road conditions, especially open road driving patterns and rhythms.
  • Fix Google's voice announcement information to predict road signs and announce information according to your usual driving habits in China.

So there is a greater need for manual navigation to identify road signs, exits, solid lines, cameras in advance, and thus ensure the safety of the whole car through this process. So, at this point the so-called co-driver's my responsibility becomes clear - to compensate for various deviations, both perceived and actual.

At this point, the information on navigation and actual road conditions is translated into Chinese and broadcasted in advance, correcting for the deviation between the driver's navigation habits and actual road information. This also includes the selection of parking lots and locations after arriving at the destination, all of which are backed by complete "trip management" with little respite along the way.

One day in Los Angeles, I took a cab alone to the Peterson Museum, and a carload of people without co-drivers were driven by Pops to the Desert Ole. The morning was not supposed to be too eventful, with clear roads and clear vision. In the evening on the return trip Pops took the wrong exit due to rain, unrecognizable navigation delays, and unfamiliar direct experience differences in the relatively darker American road environment that led to the journey not being a smooth return.

It was such a simple thing to say, but for that reason that night I also went back to my old job of making more thorough preparations for the next day's trip after everyone had returned. After all, no one on the bus would want to delay an amazing dinner or even venture out on a dark highway with a language barrier.

The following conversations typically occur under such driving conditions.

Vehicle was travelling in the left or middle lane of an expressway and needed to change to the right to make the current road, a lorry was blocking the road sign ahead, the road was fast but the road conditions were bumpy. Weather was clear with good visibility and no frontal glare.

Navigation: (Shows the direction of road passage, but no solid line information) The road ahead narrows, so pull into the right lane early.

Passenger: (Observe right rear and rear view mirror, body blind spot, check navigation information) There is no oncoming traffic on the right side of the highway, the road is clear before and after, don't drop your speed, keep this speed to change direction. The ramp solid line is right in front of you, change to the far right lane as soon as possible, the big car may not see you now, it seems to have a tendency to lean to the right, probe out a little and then hit the lights and go.

The driver made a judgment call and quickly changed to the right at the light and drove onto the solid ramp.

This one process is a typical result of the authority and resource management in the cockpit, observing and judging the actual condition of the road from the position the co-driver is in, and then advising the driver on the operation.

In the electric age, these skills may not be evident in a developed and well-equipped mega-city, but in mismatched conditions where facilities are relatively less developed, or where there are differences in language environments, road signs, etc., pre-paved experience can provide an almost irreplaceable aid. This is an inherent 'grounding advantage'.

As a co-driver for the operations master

The cooperation in the operational context is more based on "on-the-ground experience", and operationally it is a bit like running a rally, and closer to the rally pilot mentioned at the beginning of this article, except that the goal becomes punctuality and money saving.

In my former capacity as a tour leader, the co-driver itself was required to take responsibility for keeping the passengers safe, ensuring a smooth ride, and making sure the driver's condition was stable. Also, in the perception that was imparted, the co-driver of a large or small bus is also a dangerous position second only to the driver. We do not advise our guests to sit in this position without permission, also for the sake of implementing safety responsibilities throughout the trip.

Don't make a big deal out of it, if you've ever been on a big car tour, this is something that's really common.

The following conversations typically occur under such driving conditions.

The bus is driving on a country road with sudden heavy rain, paved but muddy and slippery, with low visibility, and some distance to the entrance to the highway. There is still a long distance to go to the destination and there is a time requirement for arrival. The passengers were already a little anxious and worried that they would not be able to return properly.

NAVIGATION: Please drive carefully as we pass through a stormy road ahead. Please continue on the current road for 13 km.

Master: (check the instrumentation, vision condition) the road to the highway is still far, the road is slippery, the car will be much slower, may not reach the destination on time, should we take a detour? There is a gas station up ahead to take shelter from the rain for the time being.

Co-driver: (check weather information, ask passengers in the car for requested time) Keep the speed on this stretch of road slightly under 60km/h. Remember to turn on your fog lights if it's raining too much. There are no more thunderstorm clouds ahead and the heavy rain will pass soon.

Co-driver: (Check the information about navigation) Go straight to the highway and stick to the speed limit when the ground is dry, there is no problem in time. If you need gas, you can stop for 15 minutes, but you won't make it any later. (Expectation management, trip planning information) I'll talk to the passenger about the time schedule behind.

The co-driver then explained the situation to the passenger and explained the weather and the short stop and pleaded for understanding and cooperation.

The Master then chose to stop at a gas station a few kilometres ahead to wait for the rain to subside and departed after refuelling. The journey continued along the forecast road and reached the destination within the scheduled time.

If you are familiar with road conditions, directions, weather conditions, and a certain amount of geographic knowledge of information and resources organized as a co-driver, you are also able to help the master save significantly on energy and costs for the overall trip. The function of the co-driver is also more superficial and clearer when you can't fiddle with driving skills in front of a professional driver and reduce the interference with driving execution from the perspective of a service provider and work collaborator.

The above problems are also accentuated in the presence of a commercial vehicle without any assisted driving at all - fatigued driving on the motorway, inattentiveness in night driving, and the possibility of various motives for wanting to save money on provincial roads are among the matters that need to be regulated and managed as a co-driver. These matters are also mostly internal, and are matters that have little to do with the act of driving itself.

  • Observe weather, roads and other factors affecting arrival times before and after departure.
  • Ensuring the safety of passengers while in motion and synchronizing destination arrangements.

May Day in Daxin County, village festivities make the bus inch along Except, a chat with the master revealed something else. Many of them travel to and from Yunnan-Tibet, Sichuan-Tibet and cross-border roads, and have to drive smoothly on urban highways without getting seasick, and for those who come into contact with them regularly seem to better understand the significance of this - greater adaptability also means being able to take on more orders with different requirements, serving people who have different requirements in terms of ride experience. Driving skills as an operating driver's bread and butter, and keeping the experience consistent without being affected by the car, is actually a pretty impressive skill.

I've inadvertently interviewed a few masters along the way, and they all said that this 'skill' is part of the skill set and most of the time they don't want to be intruded and taken away by 'electronics', but sometimes it's hard to avoid it and watch many revolutions happen step by step. So there is a greater reliance on the co-driver to provide useful information to refine the trip and shape a better ride with a reasonable amount of cooperation.

With just the co-driver alone, it can still seem overwhelming at times.

For this very typical scenario, my opinion has been very much in favor of having commercial vehicles use higher levels of assisted piloted driving first - and limiting and maintaining lane/speed/gap driving on important sections (optimally efficient sections) .

Driving with a co-driver beside me

Having a co-driver around, in addition to chatting more often, also requires an extra hand because of the inconvenience of the car. And the road, it just doesn't have the test items turned into road signs explicitly spelled out.

I myself, as a driver, will only turn on cruise when I am sure the road is relatively clear of cars and the pace of the surrounding traffic is relatively steady, of which I also generally pay more attention to the appropriate roads and times, to get more efficiency on the one hand, and to bring efficiency up by reducing other minor actions while driving.

In addition to observing unfamiliar roads on your own, sitting with an extra person can help to see the road delineations and identify potential hazards early on. It also helps to have an extra person to talk to when the road is longer to avoid boredom and falling into fatigue.

The co-driver at this time, who I would prefer to help me sort out the external flow of information as well as trivial matters, which actually includes.

  • Paid access to the garage.
  • Checkpoint alerts and special road observations.
  • Changes in route of fuel stations and resupply points, adverse weather avoidance precautions.
  • Trip (charging) plan implementation and queue status determination.

Since I last returned from Aden, and after the baptism of the mountain roads, I have also been able to discover more and more that the presence of a co-driver is 100% necessary. Because I still remember that the most testing thing on the 318 is not only the road itself (even the road is not the biggest risk factor anymore), but the anticipation of meetings and the multitude of road participants, the multidimensional test of vision and vehicle performance control, and even the knowledge of the local people and customs.

This is information that will not be reflected by the tarmac pavement.

Even though the road conditions today are not what they used to be, those who have gone before and after remain the same. These hidden driving lessons are never volunteered, but rather 'I'm there, live and die by myself'.

Too many blind corners, need to make the observation a little more rigorous in addition to relying on the co-driver's observation help, more often than not, they will also adopt a set of strategies to deal with their own Different road conditions, different surfaces and pace of travel, different vehicles. In times of poor visibility or driving conditions, the presence of the co-driver can effectively help the driver to implement these "defensive" driving strategies and still ensure "efficiency".

On long trips, this external information, which is not related to driving, also affects the experience of landing on the trip to some extent.

Working together

There is something that happens to the way a driver thinks when driving.

What pulls the change in thinking is attention, a multi-dimensional input of information consisting of auditory, visual, and gravitational senses (incorporating: vehicle, weather, driver, purpose needs, etc.). This information is transmitted into the driver's senses in parallel and multiple times, while this information will in turn become the guide for the next second, the next minute of continuous action. Staying focused will cause the driver's energy and physical exertion to grow, and concentration itself is subject to the objective limitation that humans are naturally fatigued. Setting some daily mindset and driving patterns for this reason is also intended to reduce the burden of being in a highly concentrated state.

For example, I have my own usual kind of model, which also includes judgment nodes for cruising and certain vehicle behavior judgments:.

  • Maintaining a certain distance from the vehicle in front before turning on the cruise, ready to exit the cruise at any time according to the predicted relative speed and distance.
  • Keeping a distance from a network vehicle or a vehicle with that characteristic.
  • Cargo and small freight hijacking, giving priority to giving way to tractor-trailers and panel trucks that are unable to judge their distance, changing lanes in advance to stay away and keep their distance.
  • If you don't know the road well, you should keep travelling with your co-driver to find the road as much as possible and confirm your destination 1-2km in advance.

In addition to the objective condition that most vehicles in operational scenarios are not equipped with fixed speed cruise control, the scenarios that require human cooperation are not actually completely covered in modern vehicles. The driver, at this point, will need to be conditioned to select valid information and make quick decisions.

Except that two people working together to find a way sometimes only temporarily solves the immediate problem when it comes to more hopeless situations like repeated U-turns and the like. This match itself can also serve to quench some thirst. However, just as there are corners and extremes that are not covered by these methods, even if you are driving, you need to find more efficient methods of execution.

  • Repeated U-turns in a section without being able to find the destination, and constant accuracy deviations between the navigation direction and the destination direction.
  • Extreme weather with complete loss of visibility (visibility below 10m), such as heavy rain, hail, avalanches, etc.
  • Self-driving scenarios where the time period in question is uncontrollable and isolated persuasions to return while resupply points are closed.
  • ……

These scenes are like 'you don't know but I do' fragments, swimming in constantly changing details that one needs to capture and exploit, turning uncertainty into certainty.

In the airline industry, the duties of the "co-pilot" were recognized in the form of a manual, and this developed into a highly specialized [training and management method] called "Cockpit Resource Management" ( zip). zip). It is not enough to know how to fly an airplane, but also to know how to use all the resources in the cabin, with the aim of "ensuring safety".

From AC-121-FS-2022-XXR1 Aircrew Resource Management R2 (Industry Exposure Draft) We cannot require every modern driver to undergo the same rigorous training as the aviation industry, nor can we require everyone to have an awareness of driving information management, and while assisted driving fills some of the 'sharing and processing of road information' roles, the 'primary external information' nature of the co-pilot is still not taken away by the electronic assistance systems on board in rich driving scenarios.

After all, how complex China's roads are and how diverse the participants and behaviors ...... are is something that almost every driver has his or her own share of answers in mind.

At the very least, most of the new-age vehicles we can probably already foresee or witness already have these features.

Functional needs Related technologies and measures Remind drivers to stay alert and awake Infrared vision detection or Steering wheel torque - pressure sensing Cruise assist driving on moderate to high speed roadwaysNGP, NOP, NOA, etc. following on congested roadwaysLane centering at low speeds + vehicle following + full speed domain adaptive cruise assistObservation of surroundings with active distance control and avoidanceSurround 360° camera Distance sensors or radarThe driver is now happy and the availability of these features is very timely. In the case of driving alone, the presence of the assisted driving system is equally capable of doing part of the 'piloting' job. The experience on the road itself is not something vague and insignificant, it will become part of the guts and operation during the drive and will also serve as a basis for judgement and decision making when acting as a co-driver.

How about the fact that those who have been in the car for a long time and can be familiar with observing it, know more about what the position means.

concluding remarks

The game can be started over, but not reality.

"In addition to the cooperation with the co-driver, the actual scenario of "co-driving" with the car's auxiliary driver must also be honed on the road - not only do you need to be familiar with the human environment of the road, but also with the characteristics and temperament of the car.

The person sitting next to you at this point may need to impart more than just road experience (local road habits) and driving habits (throttle and brake control, judging the trend of the car in front of you), but more than just a grasp of the big picture. In addition to driving more and feeling more, this cumulative process can also go a long way towards 'getting the car right' by correcting some unrealistic illusions and solidified perceptions.

The computer of the car "Phoenix Yay" in "Formula High Intelligence GPX" kicks in extra acceleration in the finale to lead Kaga to victoryI certainly would like very much To witness the advent of full-bodied autopilot in my lifetime, and the advent of intelligent cockpits that truly free the driver, but more than fantasy - let's face it - it starts with the human.

For China's roads - the lack of pilotage, lack of basic right of way awareness and rules awareness education is more like a historical legacy from the great post 08 expansion of private cars. There are still many people on the road who still don't understand how to use double flashers and rear fog lights alike, and even though the hands endorse mandatory training, mandatory skill workouts and validation, the new Chinese driver who has been torn hard to own still has a million reasons to be angry about the things that go on the road. And whether the co-driver, sitting right next to him, is playing his role well remains a foggy unknowable solution.

Navigating, more than forward.

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