In the world of motorsport, information is king. If a racing team has data that can lead to an advantage over the competition, they won’t have any hesitation in using it.
For years, racing teams have collected data from in-car telemetry systems to understand the condition of their vehicles, driver behaviour and wellbeing, and to see the results of any changes and adjustments they have made.
This monitoring is performed for the purposes of shaving precious milliseconds from lap times and ensuring vehicles and drivers complete races reliably and safely.
Ken Douglas, former general manager of Motec and former technical director of V8 Supercar team Stone Brothers Racing, explained the history of telemetry systems from a racing perspective.
“It started with basic 8- and 16-bit systems, with not much data at all, and logged very slowly,” he told IoT Hub.
“Over time, it increased in capacity and complexity, with more channels, more data, and higher speeds.”
Nowadays, race teams are able to detect faults in a car in real-time, before the driver is aware, and notify them accordingly.
This has obvious safety benefits in the case of a V8 Supercar worth a few hundred thousand dollars travelling at close to 300km/h.
Douglas also highlighted the reliability aspect of telemetry systems, as vehicles “run quite close to temperature and pressure limits, which should not be overstepped.”
What's good for racing...
Other industries could benefit from similar sensor and telemetry set-ups.
For example, transport and logistics companies are not under as much time pressure as racing teams, but timeliness, reliability and safety remain key concerns.
As IoT continues to advocate increasing levels of real-time and always-on connectivity over greater distances, logistics companies have the ability to implement similar systems, which - like a racing team’s telemetry - can provide live data streams to the driver or base operations for fleet monitoring and analysis purposes.
Geolocation capabilities in such systems can also benefit logistics companies through real-time route optimisation.
And driver health monitoring can ensure physiological thresholds are not being exceeded in order to meet a deadline.
Douglas said that vehicle manufacturers and their dealerships could also benefit from data collected from sensors on customers’ vehicles.
“If a dealer detects a car being used heavily, they could bring the scheduled service forward, or if it’s being used moderately, push the service out,” he said.
Douglas said that manufacturers could also have the ability to gain a more detailed picture of the driving habits of their customers, categorised by vehicle type.
"The data collected from the usage of their cars would allow manufacturers to build better cars to their target markets," he added.