Qualcomm speeds data transfer in F1 racing cars

October 26, 2015 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
Qualcomm and the Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One team have jointly developed a solution to speed the download of telemetry data from the racing cars. Based on WiFi technology in the 5GHz spectrum, the new solution marks a significant improvement over the previously used wirebound data offloading process.

The system deployed comprises several Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 processors with Qualcomm VIVE 802.11ac Wi-Fi, along with multiple access points, one in the pit lane and one in the garage, to improve the speed of connectivity and data transfer. Qualcomm said it will continue to advance this solution throughout the 2016 race season and beyond, with potential system architecture changes and planned migration to 802.11ad Wi-Fi solutions over 60 GHz spectrum to bring further improvements to the speed and efficiency of data transfer.

The current solution is the first project as part of a collaboration that Qualcomm Technologies first announced with the Mercedes AMG Petronas formula one team in March 2015 to develop new connected car technologies to enhance the team’s on-track performance. Not only the racing team will benefit from the solution but Qualcomm as well: The fabless chipmaker hopes to gain the expertise and experience various aspects of the connected car. “Through this project, we have learned new ways to use Wi-Fi in the automotive environment,” said Qualcomm president Derek Aberle. “Innovation in motorsport often drives the advancements 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.”