I had a pretty crazy idea back in the day, and with the way that technology is progressing I think we can finally build something to make this crazy idea become a reality.
We start with the “simple” idea of trying to drive a car around a track with the same Forza drive line that we’re all used to seeing and playing.
This idea is crazy, to think that we can somehow drive a car around a track with a guideline explaining where to brake, when to hold max lateral grip, and when to start accelerating out of the corner. Jaguar had this idea too, and they’re also trying to make this happen for their cars
Displaying this on the windshield seems like a really good idea until you start factoring universal application capabilities. Why would you try and design this idea for a single car and continue redesigning this idea for every car thereafter? How bad would glare be?
Would it be easier to integrate this idea into a helmet? Something similar to what Skully tried to do?
If you did, wouldn’t that mean you would have to take your eyes off the road to look at the screen?
What about using something like a Microsoft Hololens
What are the benefits of using Mixed reality vs. Augmented reality like what everyone else is currently using?
So far it seems we might have a platform to display Mixed Reality. If we can overlay holograms over the real world, we can superimpose an actual drive line. We can add gauge displays within the helmet, set parameters to alert you in case you’re losing oil pressure or any other mechanical malfunction. Set a “ghost” car to chase, while also predicting where the braking zone begins, max lat grip ends, and acceleration begins.
That last sentence has been the hardest thing to wrap my brain around.
How do I predict when/where a car will enter its braking zone?
Better yet, how do I know what a car’s maximum grip levels are?
Do I predict change over the course of a typical 20 minute HPDE track session?
The brakes require time to get up to temp before they’re at their rated mu, and the tires will begin to degrade over time due to heat. How do you predict when the brakes or tires will begin to lose grip?
Then it hit me
Why bother trying to predict the maximum capabilities?
Using an Intel GPS sensor we can track a car’s acceleration at a refresh rate of .28 of a second. Go drive the car for 20 minutes. Now you know where your limitations are with the vehicle. Push the car harder, and over drive the vehicle. What happens? You become slower. Now you’ve built a set of parameters to work off of. I’m not suggesting you go out there on the first lap and wreck the car from over driving it, but build up to it in increments. You can drive a car too fast with slower results.
This isn’t an idea to give you the vehicle’s capabilities, it enables you to become a better driver by yourself. The two things I preach to most students when I instruct them on a track is believe in yourself and stay consistent. Confidence and consistency are the two things most novice drivers face.
Now that we have a solid idea to build an application, what hardware would we have to use to make this a reality? There’s an enormous amount of data processing that has to be done for this to work correctly.
Intel has started making huge strides in development over the last few years. They’ve introduced Internet of Things (IoT), the Nuc, Realsense, and a few more incredible devices to build what we need.
Using a FLiR sensor to determine tire temperature
Intel IoT for data collection and transportation
Hololens for mixed reality, and a few other sensors such as the GPS, fluid temp, and OBD2 cable for ECU connection would be required to make this system work.
Sadly all of these sensors and components will cost roughly $5,000. It isn’t cheap (yet), but it is available to us now. The process of taking this concept to reality will take months of sitting in front of a computer while losing whatever hair I have left.
The end goal is to make a better driver, and I’m pretty excited for technology to assist us with that.