Tiny Vehicles

From Electromagnetic Field 2024

Keegan here from Hacky Racers with some advice and suggested code of conduct for anyone who is bringing a tiny DIY vehicle for getting around EMF. These aren't rules for Hacky Racers, ours are far stricter, but a suggested code of conduct for anyone driving around site and things for them to consider. At the last EMF I heard of a few complaints about people driving too fast around the public, none of our racers that I know of, and want to make sure everyone stays safe. Our racers will be read the usual riot act about being sensible off track, we have a reputation of benign silliness to uphold after all!

These shouldn't be considered the "official" rules and any and all decisions by the organisers of the festival supersede these. I'm just hoping that we can all agree on a sensible code of conduct so that they *don't* have to make a rule! Any time anything becomes official, it becomes complicated...

So, lets all have fun and make sure we look after each other while we're doing it!

Advice for driving around site:

  1. We're all here to have fun, don't be the reason that ends!
  2. Keep to sensible speeds, even if no-one is around. The trackway can be slippery at the best of times and it doesn't take much to slip, sadly it doesn't look like conditions will be dry either...
  3. If people are around, they have priority. Drive at the speed they're moving at and don't force your way past them or in a way that could intimidate them.
  4. Don't drive around at night without lights on, they're so you can be seen as well as to see with.
  5. Electric vehicles at low speeds can be almost silent, don't assume people can see or hear you.
  6. No needlessly loud horn, they're bloody annoying and more likely to scare people than let them know where you are!
  7. Don't drink and drive. Seriously. “They’re small and slow” isn’t an excuse, they have a lot more momentum than you imagine.

Safety tips for vehicles

  1. Do not be on fire. See the note about batteries…
  2. No sharp edges! Anything that has a square edge can be annoying when stationary but with a little speed can cut fabric or skin very easily. Rounding off the edges of your bumpers is the safest bet.
  3. Don't rely on regenerative braking, if your motor controller fails your brakes go with it.
  4. Protect your batteries/wiring. Batteries used on vehicles can dump a lot of current in one go, make sure all terminals are insulated and no wiring is exposed. Some batteries can also be an extreme fire risk, mounting them in a metal box such as an ammo tin is strongly advised! Make sure you have a suitable fuse on your electrical system too.
  5. Make sure you can get out of your vehicle quickly if anything goes wrong.
  6. Have a kill switch to disable the vehicle in case the throttle jams, be aware of the note about regen braking though as if you kill the power, you kill your brakes.
  7. Lights are incredibly handy for being able to see, and be seen…