Faster race-car development with test data management in Motorsports
Motorsports is one of the most advanced industry and utilizes the latest technologies to become more competitive day by day. In fact, it’s an industry which is evolving at a very fast rate and makes use of test data at its best. This blog explains how motorsport teams can take maximum leverage out of the test data and its proper management to reduce the race car development time.
Why Test Data is important?
As the saying goes: You can’t improve it if you don’t measure it. In motorsports, Continuous improvement requires continuous measurement of all the possible parameters, and this is where the motorsport teams are moving to. Formula 1, the pinnacle of motorsports utilizes test data for continuously analysing and improving the car. The spontaneous decision making in Formula 1 races are fully driven by test data. Test data helps teams to predict the behaviour of race car in various scenarios and understand which parameters affect which other parameters and what must be done to improve the performance of the race car based on the past data. Race strategists use this to frame strategies for the race. Following image shows a few race car vehicle dynamics parameters mapped together.
Teams with facilities for instant availability, mapping and comparison of various parameters clubbed with experienced engineers can do wonders in motorsports. One great example for this is the Mercedes Formula 1 team. Data is one of the things that makes them the unbeatable in the mighty Formula 1. This is the reason why the motorsport teams are investing more in test data and test data management.
Test Data Management problems faced by Motorsport Teams?
1. Absence of Traceability
2. Loss of data
A major problem faced by motorsport teams is frequent resignation and addition of people. As the data is not stored in an organized manner and it is scattered in multiple systems, members frequently leaving the team will create problems in finding where the data is. There will be situations where data even gets lost and the team will be losing one of its valuable assets.
3. Shifting Locations
4. Difficulties in Machine Learning & Predictive Analysis
Motorsport teams perform predictive analysis with machine learning using the past data. The size of this past data being big, it is always difficult and time consuming to find the required data from the huge chunk. This delays the whole predictive analysis processes which will eventually increase the race car development time.
5. Analysing Test Data
All these problems are impacting badly on the efficiency of the team as a lot of time, effort and resources are wasted for managing the test data which if improved can reduce the overall time taken for the race car development.
How to solve these Test Data Management problems?
Motorsports teams and companies are now trying to automate the testing activities using technologies like telemetry, smart testing, etc. Many of them have started implementing the concept of smart testing in their organizations with software like ASI Datalab. Smart testing concept solves all the above-mentioned problems faced by teams in test data management. Smart Testing begins from the moment data is captured from the race car either from the racetrack during testing / race or from the rigs while testing and this data is uploaded into the centralized cloud server through plugins or through IoT devices securely. The moment data is on the cloud, it can be accessed, visualized and analysed by anybody from anywhere, be it the people sitting in the development centre or in different race locations, team management or the sponsors. The below diagram explains the concept of smart testing in detail.
How smart testing is useful in Motorsports?
Test Data Analysis is another area where motorsport teams are looking forward to saving time for faster race car development. The analysis of test data can be automated by creating the analysis process sheets once and using the same sheets later when new test data is captured. The team members need to focus only on the problematic areas where more attention must be given. This helps the team in saving time which they can invest in more testing or other development activities. Below image illustrates the process the automated test data analysis.
Apart from all these, smart testing concept involves all file formats to be supported in a same system without separate installations for different data formats. Smart Testing Software like ASI Datalab which works on the normal browser and being a cloud server-based platform, the problem of installations on multiple systems is eliminated. Most of the teams use the server provided by the software service provider itself. For Eg: ASI Datalab SaaS version provides both the software as well as the cloud server for the teams for monthly subscription packages. This helps the team in having a centralized platform for the whole testing activities and reduce the overall race car development time.
Formula Student is one motorsport which lacks behind in technological advancement compared to the other formula motorsports. Few teams have already started implementing smart testing concept in their teams which makes them more capable than the other teams. At the end of the day, what matters in motorsports is time, be it race car development time or the lap time.