Dreaming of how VR and AR technologies could enhance Formula 1 Racing? So is Mercedes, and it wants your help.
This month sees Tata Communications, the Official Connectivity Provider to F1 and the Official Managed Connectivity Supplier of the Mercedes AMG Petronas Team launch the second stage of its 2016 F1 Connectivity Innovation Prize. With the help of F1 star Lewis Hamilton the group is offering some $50,000 as a grand prize. The second stage of the competition is asking contestants to come up with a unique VR and AR experience, but not one that simply simulates driving one of the state of the art racing cars.
Instead, the experience must offer a solution to help the team working on the track-side at a race and those working remotely from the team’s UK-based factory. As it stands, engineers develop a race strategy, review component changes and fix issues with audio communications and video feeds between the track and factory. Contestants will be tasked with refining this process with the help of VR and AR during mid-season tests and more. The aim is to help the two teams involved operate much more efficiently together.
Julie Woods-Moss, Tata Communications’ CMO and CEO of its NextGen Business noted that the challenge was designed to “unleash the collective brainpower of F1 fans” and to help “boost F1 teams’ competitiveness”. Entrants will be judged by a panel that includes Hamilton himself as well as the likes of Paddy Lowe, Mercedes F1 team Executive Director; John Morrison, Chief Technical Officer of F1 Management; David Coulthard, and former F1 race driver and Channel 4’s F1 racing Lead Expert Analyst and commentator.
The first stage of the challenge was also dedicated to VR and AR, getting fans to create a solution for home viewing of an F1 Grand Prix. The winning experience from James Gough and Rich Pilsbury allowed fans to immerse themselves in the pit lane and F1 Paddock Club during a race.