Race to the Finish with M2M
Off-road racing isn’t quite what it used to be. Today’s racing vehicles are equipped with the latest M2M (machine-to-machine) technologies, giving fans the ability to see the location of the vehicle and other race stats online immediately—as the competition is underway.
As one example, M2M will be front and center at this year’s Baja 1000, an off-road race scheduled to take place on Mexico’s Baja California Peninsula November 14-17.
Today, at the SEMA show being held in Las Vegas, Nev., REDTAIL Telematics Corp., www.redtailtelematics.com, and Hessgen Inc., www.hessgen.com, an alternative energy company focused on hydrogen engine technology, are making a joint announcement about technology that will be a part of the Baja 1000.
At this year’s race, two Hessgen vehicles will be competing—but these aren’t your average vehicles. They are equipped with a GPS tracking device, allowing fans to see the location and emissions-reduction data of the vehicle online.
The REDTAIL VAM1 GPS device will be affixed to the vehicles, capturing driver-behavior data including harsh braking, excessive rotation, and the occasional roll-over during the race. Through the REDTAIL Telematics Website, racing enthusiasts will be able to track the Hessgen Hydrogen Trophy Truck live during the 2012 Baja race.
Beyond giving fans a means by which to track the vehicles, the tech is helping ‘go green’ with emissions-tracking technology. The tracking device is able to send emissions-reducing data from Baja to REDTAIL DataWarehouse—a secure database.
Could this be the beginning of using fleet tracking and asset-management technology at the races? Connected sports and fitness is a burgeoning market. ABI Research, www.abiresearch.com, says total GPS device revenues are forecast to grow from $6.5 billion in 2011 to more than $8 billion in 2017. In 2011, all GPS device categories—with the exception of personal navigation devices—grew. This includes cycling computers, golf caddies, and recreational devices.
As more technologies come to market to advance sport and fitness, connected devices and M2M could take off in a number of sporting endeavors. In the case of the Baja 1000, the tech will certainly provide an interesting way to track the race.
In general, connectivity in cars is growing. From infotainment to safety, vehicles today have more advanced features than ever before. Keeping a close eye on these trends, the Feb/March edition of Connected World magazine will include the second annual Connected Car of the Year award winners, all of which are showing what can be done with in-vehicle technology.