For the second performance test, the AEV had to make it to the gate at the top of the hill, proceed through the gate, connect to the load at the loading zone, and proceed back toward the gate after waiting 5 seconds.
The team’s goal for this performance test was to create two versions of the control code and make each code pass the performance test. The first version of the code involved power breaking the AEV before it reached the load, while the second version had the AEV coast into the load. The code for each is available here.
To assess which code performed better, the team compared the two control codes based on three metrics: time elapsed, average velocity during run, and overall programming difficulty. The last metric was the most subjective of the three, but it was still clear to the team that perfecting the coasting code was much more difficult. It required more tries to accomplish and there was more variability in the AEV’s performance overall and when comparing runs on the two different tracks. So, the power-braking AEV was less difficult to program and perfect.
The second metric the team looked at was overall time elapsed during the run. The power-braking AEV completed Performance Test 2 roughly 2 seconds faster than the coasting AEV, showing that it was more time efficient to use power-braking.
The final metric the team examined, average velocity, was measured using the data collected by the Arduino. The team found that the average velocity of the power-braking AEV was 0.775 m/s, while the average velocity of the coasting AEV was 0.642 m/s. This data showed that the power-braking AEV traveled at an average velocity that was 0.775 m/s faster, meaning that it was overall the superior code in terms of speed.
Taking into account all of the metrics, the team decided that power-braking would be carried forward to the final performance test.