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Follow-Me Suggestion // Just an idea...


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Hi Vatsim-Team,
i've recently been talking with my friends about how nice it would be, to have a FollowMe Car on the Vatsim-Servers, driven by Pilots especially at larger Airports. 
I know how all of the modellmatching works and that kind of stuff, but I've seen aircrafts that are actually Cars on YouTube (f.e. in X-Plane 11 // Link down below)
If there would be an FollowMe Car Modell integrated into the CSL-Packages or Bluebell packages, this could actually work, could it?

Ground Controllers could tell FollowMe Cars on frequencies to guide aircrafts which f.e. request a progressive taxi on the Airports Ground and also be helping newbies which are new to Vatsim and the sometimes complex taxi instructions by controllers.

I know there would be a few people interested in doing that kind of stuff and I think it would enhance the Vatsim experience even more ^^

Just an Idea, what is your opinion?


Cardriving in Xplane 11: 

 

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This has been discussed many times before. I believe this is the relevant section in the Code of Conduct:

Quote

A13 - Members shall only connect to VATSIM as an observer, a pilot, or an air traffic controller. No other connection is permitted. 

 

Tomas Hansson

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A few thoughts here:

- A13 exists, but if, hypothetically speaking, the community were to agree that human-operated followme vehicles were desirable, then the rules could be amended. "We cannot change the rules because of the rules" is circular reasoning.

- Bandwidth is a valid reason at least in theory, though I don't believe the impact would be huge. The person who's driving the followme would, most likely, have connected as pilot or ATC otherwise, so I'd expect bandwidth impact to be negligible, if any.

- Note that IRL, follow-me's are generally used in situations where unguided taxiing would be unsafe, e.g. because of bad visibility, or when taxiing large aircraft in tight spaces, and not so much because pilots are unfamiliar with the airport (except maybe in an emergency situation).

- From a technical point of view, this is a complex problem, because not all simulators implement ground vehicles the same way, or at all; in order for this to work, a ground vehicle must be implemented like a flyable aircraft, but additional work is needed to model the differences. I would expect that this would have to involve extensions to the VATSIM protocol (you need to be able to tell the network that you're a ground vehicle, not an aircraft), and you would also have to somehow coordinate this with all the pilot clients in active use, and their respective simulator plugins. This is not a trivial change at all.

- From a social point of view, the problem with this is that if you want to allow it, then EVERYONE must be prepared to handle it. Once followmes can be used, ATC needs to be ready to accommodate and use them, and once they do, pilots must be prepared to follow them. We have a lot of things already that IRL pilots are required to do but that are (somewhat) optional on VATSIM, such as flying up-to-date SIDs and STARs.

- From a social point of view, again, this would require quite some thought beforehand. Followme drivers would share in ATC responsibilities (effectively giving pilots taxi instructions on the fly), so does that mean they would have to undergo mandatory training, like controllers? What happens if you're taxiing behind a followme, and the followme driver suddenly disconnects?

- And then we have scenery discrepancies. It's annoying already that ground elevation and exact taxiway placements don't always match between simulators and sceneries, but that is inevitable, and as long as you're just taxiing, it can be dealt with - if the aircraft in front of me taxis in the grass, but I can still see which taxiway they're supposed to be on, I can work around that, I'll just stick with my taxi line and keep a distance like I would if they were directly in front of me. But if I were to follow a followme, I'd want to do that quite precisely - that's why we have them in the first place, so that we can follow precise nonstandard taxi routes. But if the sceneries don't match between me and the followme driver, then all that goes out the window.

So, in short, a huge amount of effort and inconvenience for very very little gain. I don't see this happening.

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5 hours ago, Tobias Dammers said:

- Bandwidth is a valid reason at least in theory, though I don't believe the impact would be huge. The person who's driving the followme would, most likely, have connected as pilot or ATC otherwise, so I'd expect bandwidth impact to be negligible, if any.

 

If you ask me, this is the only reason we need in order to justify keeping the rule as it stands today. I would much rather have the user connect as an actual aircraft or provide "real" ATC services.

Edited by Ross Carlson
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Developer: vPilot, VRC, vSTARS, vERAM, VAT-Spy

Senior Controller, Boston Virtual ARTCC

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Every byte is sacred, Every byte is great, If a byte is wasted, the Founders get quite irate...

Cheers!

Luke

... I spawn hundreds of children a day. They are daemons because they are easier to kill. The first four remain stubbornly alive despite my (and their) best efforts.

... Normal in my household makes you a member of a visible minority.

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I think Ross's point was moreso that overall it's better for the network to have more planes and controllers instead of cars driving around the airport.  Every follow-me car connected represents one fewer pilot or controller that could have been on at that time. 

Whether or not that's what he was saying, I agree with it. 

Cheers,

-R.

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That I can agree with 😄

Cheers!

Luke

Edited by Luke Kolin

... I spawn hundreds of children a day. They are daemons because they are easier to kill. The first four remain stubbornly alive despite my (and their) best efforts.

... Normal in my household makes you a member of a visible minority.

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Indeed.

Also, you have to draw the line *somewhere*. Follow-mes, pushbacks, sure, but then we might also want to allow SAR vehicles, and why not buses and people movers and catering vehicles and marshallers and fuel trucks, and why stop at the airport boundary, how about normal road vehicles too, and oh my, ships too.

It's a flightsim, not a world sim.

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