Formula 1 has always been the pinnacle of both motor racing and technology in general. Much of the technology we now see on cars was originally developed by the trail blazing F1 teams such as McLaren and Ferrari. We’ve had everything from seat belts to power assisted steering and more recently complex electronics and engine management systems that effectively control every aspect of the car in the background whilst we drive.
One thing we perhaps take for granted is the vehicle tracking and monitoring side of Formula 1 cars, which is way ahead of any other sport on the planet. Sensors are attached to almost every part of the car to measure everything from telemetry to liquid and hydraulic pressures, tyre temperatures and even air resistance. This doesn’t even take in to account the complex GPS systems the cars have installed that not only track when on the circuit they currently are but can be used to project where they will re-enter the race after a pit-stop.
When data is collected from a Formula 1 car in the Electronic Control Unit (ECU), it is then transmitted via radio to an ATLAS data server which receives and distributes data to an SQL data server. From here it is then shared via network to the team’s factory team in the UK and the team based at the race track simultaneously.
We owe a lot to Formula 1 technology, especially here at Pay as you Track, as they have helped push the tracking industry forward with more accurate and up to date information. We will always rely on GPS tracking as long as we have satellites in space, this has been around for a long time since being created by the US military but the collection, interpreting and distribution of data in real time on vehicles is pretty much exclusively down to F1.