Mario Andretti once said: “If everything seems under control, you’re just not going fast enough.”
The Electric Racing Academy (ERA) in Zolder, Belgium disagrees. With help from the Internet of Things (IoT) and Software AG, its electric racing cars can go as fast as they like and still be in control.
The ERA is shaking things up in motorsports with the world’s first all-electric junior race series and is focused on using technology to make racing both more sustainable and inclusive. The electric cars are as much as four times more efficient than combustion engine cars.
And, because all the cars are built the same, there is a good chance anyone can win – no matter what age, race, color or gender – if they are good enough drivers!
IoT meets racing technology
How is this possible? Electric racing is hugely technical and the data coming out of the cars surpasses perhaps every other racing series out there. With digitalization and the IoT, ERA gathers live information from the cars to harness valuable information and present it to the race teams and drivers when it matters most: When it’s happening.
It can then make up-to-the minute adjustments to race strategy and advise on driver performance. Decisions need to be made at a blistering speed during a race. Every part of the car needs to be in communication with every other part. If, for example, the battery overheats that information needs to be communicated to the inverter and the motor so that adjustments can be made to help cool down the battery.
Safety and efficiency
The controller area network (CAN) makes this possible using 4G and Software AG’s Cumulocity IoT platform, so that the engineers can visualize what the car is “talking about.” All this happens without the driver’s knowledge – unless it is needed.
“The driver is busy racing, so we don’t want him or her overloaded with information,” said Beth Georgiou, Sporting Director at ERA and pioneer in the world’s first all-electric junior formula races.
Therefore, the platform is selective about what it gives the drivers on their dashboards, letting them concentrate on the driving. With the data, engineers can see immediately if the drivers’ driving style is causing issues – maybe it is too aggressive, and the battery is draining quickly – and pass that information to them so they can then focus on efficiency.
Safety is also paramount, and the system can alert the driver if an immediate stop is necessary, then they can jump out of the car.
A race-day partnership
At Software AG, we are mildly obsessed with simplifying the connected world so that you can make smarter decisions, faster. Nowhere does that matter more than on the track. So, building on our existing technology partnership with ERA, we are now the exclusive title partner for ERA’s European race schedule in 2022.
With Cumulocity IoT we power the connections that take the data from the cars back to the crew to make real-time decisions – and to give fans a fully immersive experience on race day. We are a proud sponsor of the ERA Championship and are excited to be a part of a better, cleaner and more equitable future.
The European race series kicks off in Turkey on the weekend of May 21-22, before moving to Hungary (June 11-12), Spain (June 18-19), Belgium (July 9-10) and Italy (July 23-24).
Learn more about how Software AG is simplifying the connected world – in racing and in the enterprise – by clicking below.