The AI is getting huge improvements in Forza Motorsport
The AI is getting huge improvements in Forza Motorsport - Image credit: Turn 10

Forza Motorsport: Learning AI and Physics Overhaul

In the latest Forza Monthly live stream, it was the turn of Forza Motorsport to show off its all-new AI system. Here’s all we know about the new Drivatars.

After much patience from fans, Forza Motorsport is finally set for release on 10 October. But with the game’s release date incoming fast, many are none the wiser as to what the game will be like.

Today however, that is no longer the case following the most recent Forza Monthly stream. During the Twitch broadcast, Turn 10 developer Chris Esaki joined the crew to showcase a number of impressive features coming to the game.

Including overhauled physics and a self-learning AI system with all-new Drivatar behaviour, the announcement is sure to excite fans. However, the numerous innovations seemingly come at a cost, with several features only set to join the title post-launch. Here’s everything we know about the game so far.

FM Physics Overhaul

As a headline, the Forza Motorsport developers mentioned during last night’s stream that the jump in physics accuracy from FM7 to the new title is larger than the jump from FM5 to FM7. Certainly a mind boggling statistic, but there is proof behind it.

Forza Motorsport brings sizeable AI and physics improvements
Forza Motorsport brings sizeable AI and physics improvements – Image credit: Turn 10

In the previous game, the physics engine’s tyre model featured a single contact point. This meant that aggressive kerbs and bumpy track surfaces would make for unrealistic car behaviour. In the new game, however, an eight-point of contact tyre model will go some way to eliminating this odd sensation.

Furthermore, Forza Motorsport 7 ran on a 60Hz physics engine making for spiky suspension behaviour. In the new title, that figure jumps to a 360Hz refresh rate. This should make for a smoother driving experience that better simulates how the tyres, suspension and track surface react.

Forza Motorsport Machine Learning AI

Alongside the new physics engine, Forza Motorsport will introduce a fresh approach to Drivatars. In previous iterations of the AI system, cars would bare a player’s friends names, liveries and attempt to replicate said friend’s driving style.

Whilst immersive for those with clean racing friends, many racers would suffer the thrills of a public lobby event, despite racing offline. In fact, single player career races would often become destruction derby-like.

In its new form, the Drivatar system drops its desire to impersonate real drivers. Instead, Turn 10 has developed a machine learning system that has taught the AI every trick in the book. A video posted during the Forza Monthly stream displays the AI improvements between the previous title and the upcoming one.

This improved speed comes from the AI learning its own lines resulting in over 19 different possible lines around each circuit. For each condition, each situation and each car, the AI is sure to put up a fight. Furthermore, it will do this without cheats such as rubber-banding and alternate physics.

In the same spirit as Gran Turismo‘s Sophy AI, the Forza Motorsport Drivatars will adapt to the speed of each player all whilst providing excellent racing. With the new setup, the AI will reportedly be much cleaner in the new Forza Motorsport.

Road Racing focus

In previous Forza Motorsport games, there has been a very diverse selection of cars available to race. From oddball limos and large SUVs, to some of the least sporty models around like the Toyota Prius and Nissan Leaf.

Forza Motorsport content will focus on road racing at launch
Forza Motorsport content will focus on road racing at launch – Image credit: Turn 10

This wide array of cars that wouldn’t traditionally fit a racing game will reportedly not feature in Forza Motorsport. The title will feature a greater focus on road racing, which means race cars and production sports car are all fans will get.

Whilst unfortunate for those that enjoy racing ridiculous models in unlikely places, it will make for a game that ties together better.

This will also reflect in the track list. With several locations already public knowledge, it’s clear to see that real-world tarmac race tracks are in the majority. A few fictional circuits from the series’ past will be present but not in the same numbers as previous titles. It seems Turn 10 is anxious to put together a more realistic racing experience.

Post-launch features?

Such focus will seemingly come at the downside of the game missing content at launch however. During the Forza Monthly event during which several Forza Horizon 5 announcements were also made, the developers announced that drift and drag racing modes won’t feature in the game on day one.

Drag racing will not feature in FM at launch
Drag racing will not feature in FM at launch – Image credit: Turn 10

According to Esaki, the game will feature the discipline-specific upgrades from launch. But fully functional game modes such as drift scoring and races on drag strips won’t feature immediately.

The developer did however hint at the fact that these modes may appear in-game later down the road. ““We have a long way to go after we get the game out, so there’s a lot of features we’re supporting over time,” he said.

What do you make of the new Forza Motorsport AI chat? Tell us on Twitter at @OverTake_gg or in the comments down below!

A petrol head and motorsports fan since the early days, sim racing has been a passion of mine for a number of years. The perfect way to immerse myself in my true dream job; racing driver. With lots of experience jotting down words about the car industry, I am happy to share my passion for pretend race cars here on Overtake!