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Machine Learning

How Formula 1 evolved into a data-first sport on wheels

Where once race cars were finely tuned machines on wheels driven by fearless mavericks, today’s machines are loaded with sensors and generate massive amounts of information.

During race weekend in Barcelona, current Formula One champions Mercedes opened their garage and shared their story about how F1 cars have changed and become increasingly data-dependent in recent years.

A rise in the number of sensors and compute capabilities has seen F1 become increasingly analytical in its drive to improve racing and led to data scientists being as core to a team as mechanical engineers.

 

Driving cars is driving constant improvement

The teams’ cars are loaded with round 400 sensors each during testing season, reduced down to around 100 during a race to save weight. These sensors measure everything from basic race telemetry -- speed, location on the track etc. -- to sensors which measure tyre temperature and pressure, aerodynamic pressure on the car and suspension, as well as to internal sensors that measure and transmit information about the status of fuel, lubricant, oil, cooling systems and more. A single car can create around 500GB of data over one weekend’s racing.

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Dan Swinhoe

Dan is Senior Staff Writer at IDG Connect. Writes about all manner of tech from driverless cars, AI, and Green IT to Cloudy stuff, security, and IoT. Dislikes autoplay ads/videos and garbage written about 'milliennials'.  

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