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Wireless power transfer, ultra-high-bandwidth connectivity in F1 racing

Technology News |
By Christoph Hammerschmidt


On the side of Qualcomm, the entity involved is Qualcomm Technologies, a subsidiary of Qualcomm Inc. Expanding beyond the initial tests utilizing 5 GHz 802.11ac Wi-Fi technology in 2015, Qualcomm Technologies and Mercedes-AMG Motorsports continued to work together in 2016 to test high-speed wireless download of vehicle data using 802.11ad Wi-Fi technology in the 60 GHz band. During the field trials, race engineers utilized both technologies to gather data directly from the team’s race cars while in the pit and garage. Utilizing the 60 GHz band, the team has been able to show real-world throughputs of 1.5 Gbps, which is 3.5x faster than performance results previously achieved with the prior 5 GHz solution. In addition, lab testing using both 5 GHz and 60 GHz simultaneously indicates that throughputs close to 2 Gbps can be achieved, resulting in 4 to 5x improvement in speed from previous implementation.

This work continues to showcase significant improvements from the previous wired data offload system, which required a plug-in connection from the car to computers in the pit garage. Test results also validate how quickly and efficiently data can be pulled from the vehicle, as well as to help evaluate vehicle performance under extreme race conditions. Qualcomm Technologies said it will continue to evaluate performance increases in the 60 GHz and 5 GHz off-load programs, as well as explore new technologies to make it possible for Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport to send data straight to their race engineers without making a pit stop by utilizing new emerging 5G wireless and C-V2X technologies.

In addition to the wireless transfer of data, Qualcomm and Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport will collaborate on testing the wireless transfer of power using a WiPower interface. Evaluating various difficult-to-access interfaces on the vehicle, the teams intend to replace physical connectors with wireless power interfaces, thus enabling rapid dismantling and reassembly of vehicle parts during complex repair resulting from on track incidents.

“Winning in Formula One means working with the best in order to innovate in every area – and this is what our partnership with Qualcomm Technologies brings us,” continued Toto Wolff, Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport. “Not only have we worked to develop solutions for the track, which give us a competitive advantage each race weekend, but these projects serve as a laboratory for cutting-edge solutions that will make their way into automotive applications in the near future. It’s the perfect demonstration of how the high-tech environment of Formula One can accelerate the development of technologies with applications a long way beyond racing.”

 

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