LAS VEGAS, NV — Racepak has changed the game for logging, reviewing, and sharing vehicle (and driver!) performance data on and off the racetrack.
You know how Netflix’s subscription-based video-streaming happened and essentially killed the video rental store business and fundamentally changed the way most of us watch, buy, or rent movies? Same thing here.
There is no swapping of memory cards, or plugging the laptop into the ECU, or even emailing performance data to someone offsite. Everything is cloud-based in the new Racepak Vantage CL1 Cloud-Based Data Kit, a brand-new product unveiled at SEMA 2017 which promptly took home—not one, but two—SEMA New Product Awards.
All of the data from any recorded race session can be viewed in real-time, or months and years later by anyone with an iOS or Android mobile device, or a computer. The service is subscription-based (like Netflix), and grants subscribers the ability to give GPS track position, lap or pass data, and every other metric or data point a race team might want to collect, to as many users as they want. Someone sitting in a living-room recliner 1,000 miles away from the track can monitor on-track performance in real-time with access to a particular subscriber account.
This technology is currently available for kart racing, is about to launch for Jr. Dragsters, and will systematically be rolled out to all forms of motorsports—drag racing, autocross, road racing, circle track, etc.—throughout 2018.
The software and display interface is awesome and incredibly interactive.
Todd Paton, Racepak’s operations and sales manager, gave us a demonstration at the SEMA Show, and it was ridiculous in the best-possible way.
The software engineers at Racepak are leveraging satellite images from Google Earth (which, can be spun and reoriented however you want with the touch of your finger) of each individual racetrack, and then overlaying heat map readings for everything you’d want to measure, like rpm, temperature on either air- or water-cooled engines, wheel speed, and much more.
It looks like this:
We think it’s exciting.
Like when we figured out we could watch all five seasons of Breaking Bad on Netflix without stopping.
Here’s a larger monitor showing a different display with some human face reflections in the background, just as you’d see with a crew chief standing in front of it as well as in laughably bad photography:
Change can be hard, and people are often resistant to making personal technology changes to new, unfamiliar things. We think this might be especially true for car guys and gals.
It took us just a little bit longer than it should have to figure out how great it was to stream Netflix and other online video services right to our home televisions.
Just maybe, the magic of capturing and sharing racetrack data will have a much-faster discovery and adoption rate.
We’ll see soon enough.