In full-size cars, electronic stability systems are common, with names like ESP (electronic stability program), DSC (dynamic stability control), and ESC (electronic stability control) all describing essentially the same thing: a system of piezoelectric gyroscopes, position sensors, and accelerometers that monitor the car’s attitiude relative to control inputs, and software that electronically “steps in” and makes corrective inputs if there is a loss of traction and control. With their new Active Vehicle Control (AVC) technology, Spektrum’s engineers hope to do the same for RC cars and trucks.
AVC incorporates three gyros and three accelerometers to monitor acceleration and deceleration (both forward and backward as well as left and right), pitch, roll, and yaw. This information is constantly compared against the signals the receiver is sending to the servos and speed control as you drive. If the AVC software determines that the car is reacting correctly to the commands, it will not influence the car. But if AVC determines that (for example) the car is moving laterally in a way that does not match the commands from the receiver, AVC will make corrective steering inputs and even reduce throttle if needed to maintain the commanded direction. All this happens incredibly fast, at a rate of 180 corrections per second–much faster than even the best drivers. According to Spektrum, AVC was even able to improve the performance of Team Losi Racing factory drivers.
RC Car Action is the first to drive with the AVC system, which is standard equipment in the new Vaterra Hälix 1/10 4WD monster truck and Losi TEN Rally-X 4WD rally car. The system is very impressive; when switched on, we found both models to be exceptionally easy to drive fast, but we never felt there was anything influencing the controls other than our own fingers. With AVC switched off, it was instantly apparent how much AVC was contributing to the driving experience. Full-throttle, hands-off launches that were straight and true with AVC now required quick reflexes to hold a straight heading. Turns that we carved with point-and-shoot ease with AVC were overshot if attempted with the same zeal as when AVC was switched on. “On” and “off” aren’t your only options, however: the degree of influence AVC has on the vehicle is easily adjusted by turning a trim dial on the Spektrum DX2E transmitter included with both models. Dial it all the way down to “off,” dial it up to max, or choose any setting in between–all it takes is a twist.
We’ll have a full review of the new AVC system in our January issue, and videos of the Hälix and TEN Rally in action here at RCCA.com soon–watch this space!
NEW Spektrum™ AVC™ (Active Vehicle Control™) technology
The new era in vehicle stabilization technology
Horizon Hobby is proud to announce Spektrum™ AVC™ technology. AVC technology utilizes sensors to adjust steering and throttle output, providing you with a more stable and controlled driving experience. Whether you’re trying to hit a jump straight on at a high speed or want to maintain the maximum possible speed while going through a turn, AVC technology works to help keep a vehicle’s tires glued to the pavement and headed in the direction you want it to drive.
Vehicles Featuring AVC Technology
At launch the AVC system will be available in the following Losi® and Vaterra® vehicles:
- Losi Ten Rally-X Rally Car
- Vaterra Hälix™ Monster Truck
VTR03003 Vaterra Hälix™ 1/10 Electric Monster Truck Retail – $489.99
LOS03000 Losi Ten Rally-X 1/10 Electric Rally Car Retail – $599.99
©2013 Horizon Hobby, Inc. Vaterra, Losi, AVC, Active Vehicle Control and Hälix are trademarks or registered trademarks of Horizon Hobby, Inc. The Spektrum trademark is used with permission of Bachmann Industries, Inc.