Video: Which is the better driving instructor, AI or a human?

https://www.youtube.com/embed/45JRteekQyQ

A personal driving coach may be one of the best options for learning how to go faster on track, but do you need an actual person to teach you?

We take two novice drivers to the track to find out how the artificial intelligence of the Garmin Catalyst competes with a human driving instructor.

Presented by CRC Industries.

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msterbeau
msterbeau Reader
12/23/22 3:23 p.m.

 One is (mainly) objective, the other is (mainly) subjective.  Both are useful. 

JG Pasterjak
JG Pasterjak Production/Art Director
12/23/22 3:23 p.m.

As I'm beginning to construct the print side of this story, I'm just getting more and more impressed with the Catalyst—and I was already impressed with the Catalyst. The thing it can't do, though, is tell you HOW to go faster in those areas where it's encouraging you to do so. It can give you the information on speed and line, but not technique. But a human coach, using the Catalyst for data and just working with the student on technique issues would have a HUGE advantage when it came to helping drivers develop. 

So, as a replacement for a human, the Catalyst is pretty darn good out of the box. As a tool augmenting human instruction, it's a monster.

WonkoTheSane
WonkoTheSane UltraDork
12/23/22 4:38 p.m.

Great video, and excellent food for thought.


I love my catalyst, but as a (soon to be replaced by a robot?) human instructor of almost a decade, I think you missed the one important "control"in this experiment, which is an in-person instructor.  I'm sure you've found the same thing which is that the first few sessions for a never-ever are kinda overwhelming, so the dude that only gets a debrief instruction seems like he's at a huge disadvantage to the guy who doesn't have to keep all the notes in his head in addition to being overwhelmed on track.

I'd also be curious at what rate the improvements came for both.

 

Either way, excellent content!

Andy Hollis
Andy Hollis
12/23/22 5:11 p.m.
JG Pasterjak said:

As I'm beginning to construct the print side of this story, I'm just getting more and more impressed with the Catalyst—and I was already impressed with the Catalyst. The thing it can't do, though, is tell you HOW to go faster in those areas where it's encouraging you to do so. It can give you the information on speed and line, but not technique.

As an example of this..

Last weekend I right-seated with an intermediate level driver who was looking to fine-tune his line during one particular session.  All I did was feed him cues for where/when to be looking...and his hands/feet did the rest.  He nailed the line and speed.

 

Colin Wood
Colin Wood Associate Editor
12/23/22 5:51 p.m.

What a fun day. Not very often you get paid to drive a car on track.

On a more serious note, I know there was plenty of time to be found on track. It wasn't until my last few laps that I felt the car reaching it's limits.

JG Pasterjak
JG Pasterjak Production/Art Director
12/23/22 6:02 p.m.
WonkoTheSane said:

Great video, and excellent food for thought.


I love my catalyst, but as a (soon to be replaced by a robot?) human instructor of almost a decade, I think you missed the one important "control"in this experiment, which is an in-person instructor.  I'm sure you've found the same thing which is that the first few sessions for a never-ever are kinda overwhelming, so the dude that only gets a debrief instruction seems like he's at a huge disadvantage to the guy who doesn't have to keep all the notes in his head in addition to being overwhelmed on track.

I'd also be curious at what rate the improvements came for both.

 

Either way, excellent content!

We knew this could never be a truly scientific test without the use of either cloning, complete memory erasure or time travel, all of which come with their own logistical and ethical drawbacks. We're simply too busy making magazines and websites to be running around murdering rogue clones, or jumping through the time stream cleaning up preemptive causality violations and bootstrap paradoxes.

So we really just tried to focus on the experiece they were having, and what they might be missing out on by exclusively doing one or the other. As I write the story, I think I'll dive a little deeper into some of the ways that combining these techniques could be extremely beneficial.

sleepyhead the buffalo
sleepyhead the buffalo PowerDork
12/23/22 6:14 p.m.

is this a "sponsored" post?

Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard Director of Marketing & Digital Assets
12/23/22 6:49 p.m.

In reply to sleepyhead the buffalo :

No. Though Garmin is a partner of ours, this was our idea and Garmin didn't have any input besides providing a Catalyst for the test when we asked. They're seeing this video for the first time today, just like you are. 

fiestafrank
fiestafrank New Reader
12/23/22 7:38 p.m.

I believe we are the only people using the dual garmin process.  Instructor and student in Identical cars, _+ 2 garmins.  We are seeing phenomonal results.

Tom1200
Tom1200 UberDork
12/23/22 9:10 p.m.

Any level of telemetry is always a good tool but you really want a human coach and or instructor to go through it with the driver.

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