Formula 1 giants Williams Martini are using the IoT to gather biometric data and devise the perfect pit stop.
Leveraging Internet of Things (IoT) technologies in Formula 1 is not a new phenomenon. In a world where minimal differences in speed and the finest of margins can be the difference between winning and losing, F1 teams are constantly looking to the latest technology to gain a competitive edge.
Nowhere is this more exemplified than during frantic pit stops that have the power to decide the outcome of a race. Although every car has to head to the pits to refuel at some point, ensuring these stops are as fast and efficient as possible can make all the difference. To that end, Williams Martini has revealed that throughout the recently finished 2016 season wearables and biometric data were used to evaluate and improve the team’s pit stops.
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Williams Martini harnessing biometrics of pit crew to devise perfect pit stop
Sure, you might think. Getting a real-time feed of elite sportsmen during competition is nothing new. But that’s just it: As well as the drivers, Williams Martini kitted out the pit crew with wearables to gather biometric data such as heart rate, breathing rate, temperature and peak acceleration. All in an effort to devise the perfect pit stop. The crew, although working for as little as three seconds at a time during each stop, need to be functioning as a well-oiled unit to get the best results.
The team’s very own human performance specialist, Gemma Fisher, uses analytics and a database powered by Microsoft Azure and Avanade respectively, to gain a better understanding of how to achieve the perfect pit stops.
A statement from the Williams Martini team said, “Analysis of data gleaned from the bio-harnesses will provide insight into the physiology behind ‘the perfect pit stop’. Further analysis will seek to discover if information from the biometric data can inform specific aspects of the individual’s fitness training objectives.”
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IoT provides bespoke performance reports for crew
The idea is that each important crew member can be given a bespoke performance report, which could highlight the effect of working, for example, within certain heart rate parameters. Then techniques can be deployed, whether it’s more caffeine or training to induce lower levels of stress, improving overall performance.
Every millisecond counts in Formula 1; that teams are starting to go to these lengths should come as no surprise.
“Working with Avanade will enable us to continue to push the boundaries of pit stop potential and will help us use additional data streams to ensure we stay a step ahead of our rivals,” said Gemma Fisher, Williams Martini’s human performance specialist.
Chris Miller, global chief technology innovatiion officer (CTIO) at Avanade, said “Time is truly of the essence when it comes to pit stops in F1. It is great to see a company like Williams Martini Racing embrace technology from Microsoft to capture and analyze biometric data, to enhance their pit stop performance in the 2017 season and maintain a competitive edge.”