Some vehicles fly down the highway, while others are dirt-track
specialists. This activity allows you to explore the relationships
between, distance, rate, and time. Can you identify the best path for a
vehicle? Try to predict what will happen if you set on‑road or off‑road
For each car, the distance is displayed on the top, the raceway
below that, the elapsed time to the left, and the speed at the bottom.
Throughout on-road measures are displayed in red, and off-road measures are displayed in blue. For elapsed time, total elapsed time (on-road + off-road) is displayed in yellow.
Choose your mode at the bottom left of the tool. Manual Mode allows you to set distances and speeds. Random Mode restricts certain measures depending on the setting chosen.
After adjusting your settings, click the GO button to start the race. The winning total elapsed time (in yellow) will flash.
Choose Random Mode, and select the ON‑Road < OFF‑Road Speed option. Change the ON‑Road Distance and OFF‑Road Distance for one of the cars so that your car beats the other car. Click GO. Did your car win?
If your car didn't win, try changing the distances until it does. What is the best path for a vehicle that is faster off‑road?
Change to Manual Mode, and set the speeds to the values below. For each set of speeds, what are the best on-road and off-road distances?
In general, what are the best distances if the on‑road speed is twice the off‑road speed?
What is the ratio of on‑road speed to off‑road speed when the best path requires driving half as far on‑road as off‑road?
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