Follow-up to Anticipation, Rallying, Part 1
The situation changes completely without pace notes. The driver has to gather all the necessary information on their own. Most of the time, the driver is forced to concentrate on the next curve. Hills or trees block his view and no advance visual information for the following subsection is available. Furthermore, he has to create his internal model in real time using available sensory information. This modeling process takes a lot of time, since the alternatives must be taken into account (see question 4). Different questions spring to mind, like: Is the next curve rather strung-out? Is there a directional change? This leads to an overload of the circular process. Too much information must be processed in a very short time. The inherent errors in the circular process gain the upper hand. In summary, the time to identify and interpret stimuli is not sufficient. The availability of information in the circular process is reduced in comparison to the first scenario with pace notes. Please don´t get these two questions mixed up. The first question deals exclusively with actual available sensory information. The second question takes into account the circular process and its flaws. Usually, it is not possible to determine absolute values for these processes. But, you can compare two situations and find out which situation requires more or less available information. It is often more successful to choose a movement with lower requirements.
A closer look at the overloaded circular process (highly simplified)
Comparison of information availability
3. Is causality given?
Causality is given for the first scenario with pace notes. The driver always knows exactly what is going on. A tree diagram exclusively demonstrates the linking of single elements. In contrast to the first scenario, the tree diagram of the second scenario without pace notes is continuously changing. A clear view on the track allows a differentiation, so perhaps the next two or three curves are known. Therefore, causality is given since there are no alternatives. The clear view acts as pace notes, but it is reality. This changes completely in e.g. a forest. The trees or hills block the drivers´ view, and therefore the next curve is not known. There are various alternatives (left or right, narrow or wide curve, mud or gravel, etc.). Thus, causality is no longer given.
Tree diagram for first scenario with pace notes
Tree diagram for second scenario without pace notes
4. Is it possible to differentiate between the alternatives?
The track and its properties are known and fixed for the first scenario with pace notes. There are no alternatives to choose from. The second scenario is again different. The driver has no additional information despite his direct sensory information. He has no additional map nor any kind of on-site knowledge. He may conclude that the surface remains the same in town, but that’s it. On rainy days, he takes puddles into account. In general, the number of alternatives cannot be reduced by using assumptions. Thus, the driver has to slow down in order to have time to detect and identify his sensory information. Otherwise, he is driving blindly, even when his eyes are wide open.
Added information in the second scenario by assumptions
To be continued — Anticipation, Rallying, Part 3