Thank you for bringing this up.
I don’t think having soft real-time enforced by default is necessarily a bug, but I agree that it’d be best to have it default to false. I pushed some changes related to this and changed all vehicle demos to use the real time timer embedded in ChVehicle (and not take care of this themselves). The modification also makes it so that a correct RTF value is reported whether soft real time is enforced or not.
As for your last point, I would argue that this goes beyond the scope of what Chrono::Vehicle is designed for. Real time was not and is not a goal in itself for this code. Adding this additional logic would complicate the code unnecessarily and could conflict with cases where the vehicle is embedded in a larger simulation (like is the case with many Chrono applications) in which case it is not the vehicle that dictates time stepping.
I believe such a feature is best left to user code, if their particular application could benefit from the ability to catch up to real time later in the simulation. Note that, in typical applications for Chrono::Vehicle, that is unlikely to be possible (either the vehicle can be simulated in or below real time or it cannot).
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