Smart Cars, Faster Races

Formula One racing has changed over the years. Gone are the days of no-holds-barred racing and fuel-based pit stop fires — now, F1 is based on fuel conservation, strategy, and car mechanics including power units and tyre changes. – Charlie Osborne for Between the Lines

As the 2016 Formula One season kicks off this weekend, IBM announced a partnership with Honda R&D: McLaren-Honda will be using IBM IoT for Automotive solution to monitor and analyze their Formula One cars. Built on Watson IoT technology, this upgrade means McLaren-Honda cars will have 160 sensors connecting to the vehicle and the driver. The sensors provide the pit crews with real-time data and analytics to enable more informed decisions.

Watson IoT for Automotive will be used toto deliver data generated from cars, including temperature, pressure and power levels, directly to the cloud for real-time analysis. The pit crew will be able to keep track of the cars’ and the data that previously only the driver could see. Residual fuel levels and the possibilities of mechanical problems will be much easier to manage, prepare for, or even prevent.

The information that the car collects while on the track is streamed to the cloud, shared with not just the pit crews but back to Honda’s R&D facility in Japan and the McLaren-Honda F1 team in the United Kingdom.

Since the change made by the FIA in 2014, requiring all cars to use hybrid engines and a limit on fuel consumption, energy efficiency has become a much larger focus in the Formula One scene. The heat energy from braking and the car’s exhaust can be captured and put to use; energy generated from the during the race can be preserved within the battery. This provides the driver with more options, more power and their disposal; it could be the extra push it needs when passing another racer.

However, now F1 is less about racing for your life and more about car design and aerodynamics, companies such as IBM can slot in and provide solutions to harness the data and analytics these teams now crucially need — when a tenth of a second can make all the different in racing points and season sponsorship. – Charlie Osborne for Between the Lines

The Formula One series will continue to change and improve in the years to come, along with the rest of the auto industry. The collaborations between industry and technology, like this one, will only increase to change our culture and society; bringing forth new and improved systems, efficient and powerful in nature.

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