San Diego-based Qualcomm Technologies has provided the Mercedes Formula 1 team with a high-speed wireless system, to allow download of telemetry from its cars during practice sessions.
Using a WiFi 5GHz spectrum system supplied by Qualcomm, Mercedes is able to utilize significantly improved data offloads, including information from its thermal-imaging tyre cameras.
The quicker data transfer of such large vehicle-dynamics files prevents more frequent trips to the garages to offload data using wired communications devices. These systems required a plug-in connection from the car to computers in the garages.
Data now gets transferred through high-speed wireless in the pitlane, enabling a quicker response to the data.
This means teams can begin work on the data before the car has even returned to the garage; meaning set-up changes can be discussed and completed in much less time.
During final qualifying, for example, having Wifi data transferred to the pits so quickly means there is now enough time to change tyre settings between the two runs.
“Innovation in motorsport”
This new system is the first of many in an agreement between Qualcomm Technologies and the Mercedes AMG Petronas team.
“Through this project we have learned new ways to use WiFi in the automotive environment,” said Derek Aberle, president of Qualcomm Inc.
“Innovation in motorsport often drives advancement seen in the consumer auto industry and we believe this technology, as well as other advanced wireless technologies has the potential to shape future developments in dedicated short range communications, vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to infrastructure communications.
“These types of technologies will lead to increased driver safety and provide important data pertaining to the vehicle’s journey.”
The system uses several of Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 805 processors with the company’s VIVE 802.11ac WiFi. It encompasses a range of access points, including one in pit lane, one in the garage – both improving the speed of connectivity and data transfer.
Qualcomm is looking to advance this technology to the end of 2015 and throughout the 2016 F1 season, with potential system architecture changes and a planned migration to 802.11ad WiFi over a 60GHz spectrum.
These potential advancements should bring improvements to both speed and efficiency of data transfer.
Toto Wolff, head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport hailed the agreement between his group and the United States-based technology giant: “This is a tangible example of how our partners’ technologies are making a valued contribution to our success on track.”
Currently, Qualcomm is involved in more than 40 connected car programs with more than 15 OEMs globally; the company has been powering in-car connectivity for more than a decade.