Auto racing began over a century ago with the invention of the automobile. As technology ramped up in the auto sector, so did race communications on and off the track. Back in the early 20th century, race performance information was written in large letters on a chalkboard so the driver would know their current position, how many laps they had left, and when they should fuel up as they drove past. The driver would respond with hand signals or taps on certain portions of the race car to communicate their needs before a pit stop. It seems archaic, but in truth, the newer systems function much the same. What started with chalkboards and hand signals switched to one-way radio and then two-way radio, culminating in what we see today: the headset. The crew informs the driver of vital information, and the driver, in turn, lets the team know of any issues within the vehicle that they can see on the dash or feel from the car. It’s still a back and forth with neither portion of the team knowing what’s going on without quick verbal cues and a post-race diagnostic readout.
Think about it for a moment. This form of race communication not only takes time to relay but also means the driver has to continuously take their eyes off the track to gather and disseminate the data available on the dash. Even more unfortunate is that the dashboard diagnostics can only be acquired at the end of each race for the driver and crew to look over and see what can be done better next time. What’s missing from this real-time equation? The race car itself.
Dashboard diagnostics provide crucial data, such as engine performance, system feedback, oil pressure, cornering speed, water temperature, etc. Some of this can be tracked by the driver or crew mid-race via dash screens and pit stops, but what if it were possible for the race car itself to send audio of real-time diagnostics?
When every 10th of a second counts, bringing the car into the conversation makes sense. Most race cars are already equipped with diagnostic systems. One company, however, makes obtaining this information easy in real-time, allowing you to explore the data mid-drift or on the straight. This simple device, called RaceVoice, translates chosen diagnostics into audio that reaches the driver and crew simultaneously while also streamlining it into a compilation on an Android or iOS app.
Here’s how it works: The device plugs directly into the data-logging dashboard and is both AIM and MOTEC compatible. Instead of waiting until the race is done to examine the assessment, a team can choose from 16 performance markers on both the vehicle and driver and get real-time updates, including:
● Over-Rev Alert
● Low-Oil Pressure
● High Engine Temperature
● Low Voltage
● Wheel/Tire Lock-up
● Brake Pressure ‘Tone’ feedback
● Corner Entry Speed
● Corner Turn-In Speed
● Corner Exit Speed
● Rolling MPH Speed Announcement
● Split Timing
● “Best Lap” Announcement
● Rolling Lateral G-Force
● Max Lateral-G
● Max Linear-G
The race team can also set parameters for warnings, so precious time isn’t wasted checking gauges and warning signs on track. This is the evolution of real-time racing communication, providing teams with a cutting-edge advantage.