Race Car Telemetry

We were commissioned by pi Research to provide part of their radio telemetry system that provides live car data to the race teams, race control and Television commentary teams.  The data feed shows where each car is on the track, engine data (revs, gear selection, temperatures etc.), and when each driver is using the power boost function to overtake someone or to prevent being overtaken.  The teams use this information to help with race strategy and to monitor any developing problems with the car.  The power boost information helps the TV commentators see where the action is, plus they can see how many times each driver can use the boost again before the race ends.

Our part in this was to provide the PC software that links raw data from the cars to the mapping and other software used by the teams and commentators.  Each car has a radio transmitter that sends out a complete set of data 10 times a second, picked up by two receiving stations located near the track.  Our PC software receives and processes all of this raw data, 20 or more cars, and then sends on relevant information to each client.  So, for example, each team will receive complete information for there car but only basic data about the other cars.

We were given this assignment with about 1 month to go before the first race of the series, so it was quite a challenge to get everything done and fully tested in time for the live TV transmission!

Here’s a photo from a test session, showing Team Ireland setting a fast lap whilst our software monitored the cars every move.