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Honda R&D applies real-time data and analytics to help improve F1 performance and fuel efficiency

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Honda R&D has chosen a solution from IBM to monitor and analyze data from more than 160 sensors in Formula One (F1) cars. The IBM Watson Internet of Things technology is said to enable drivers and crews to apply data analytics in real time to make racing decisions, such as speed adjustments and pit stops, based on the data.

To reach new levels of efficiency for both race cars and future consumer models, Honda R&D has developed a new system to analyze data from hybrid engines, known as power units, to quickly and efficiently check residual fuel levels and estimate the possibility of mechanical problems. Honda is using the IBM IoT for Automotive solution, based on its Watson IoT technology, to deliver data generated from cars—including temperature, pressure and power levels—directly to the cloud for real-time analysis.

Satoru Nada, chief engineer and manager, Power Unit Development Division, Honda R&D, HRD Sakura, says “Honda R&D is thrilled to work with IBM to mark its return to F1 racing, applying advanced IoT technologies to help ensure our drivers and teams are constantly connected. We are bringing excitement to fans worldwide around the performance of our power unit and drivers, with the power of data and real-time analytics becoming a critical factor in winning races.”

As a race is taking place, data is streamed to the cloud and shared with the pit crew teams equipped with tablets and mobile technology. The data is analyzed in real time by researchers at HRD Sakura, Honda’s R&D facility in Japan, and Honda's trackside members. Transmitting that analysis as the race is taking place allows for adjustments to basic metrics such as temperature, pressure and power levels that help improve the power unit's performance. Additionally, the Honda research team also now can build complex performance models to measure energy recovery of the power unit to ensure its longevity.

(Image courtesy of ShutterStock.com)

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