Corvette Named Car of the Year With Special Smart Technology Add ons Coming for 2015
|Richard Harris in Mobile Tech Monday, January 13, 2014|
The Chevy Corvette Stingray, this year’s winner of the care of the North American Car of the Year at the Detroit auto show, will get even sweeter next year as GM introduces an industry-first Performance Data Recorder for 2015. The fully integrated system enables users to record high-definition video, with telemetry overlays, of their driving experiences on and off the track.
The Performance Data Recorder, or PDR, system was developed with Cosworth, the British motorsports-engineering company that supplies the Corvette Racing team’s data acquisition and telemetry electronics system. It will be available with the start of regular 2015 Corvette production, later in the third quarter of 2014. Pricing will be announced closer to launch.
The PDR system includes three major components, all seamlessly integrated into the Corvette Stingray’s interior. First is a 720p, high-definition camera, mounted within the windshield header trim, which records the driver’s point-of-view through the windshield. Audio is recorded via a dedicated microphone in the cabin.
Second is a self-contained telemetry recorder. The system uses a dedicated GPS receiver that operates at 5 hertz, or cycles per second. That is five times faster than the in-dash navigation system and allows more precise positioning and corner traces. The recorder is also hard-wired into the Stingray’s Controller Area Network, or CAN, to access vehicle information, ranging from engine speed and transmission-gear selection to braking force and steering-wheel angle.
Finally, the system features a dedicated SD-card slot in the glove box for recording and transferring video and vehicle data. Recording time depends on the capacity of the memory card, but an 8-gigabyte card can record approximately 200 minutes, while a 32-GB card stores up to about 800 minutes – more than 13 hours of driving time.
The PDR system can record video with three data overlay options, each rendered in real time: Track Mode – shows the maximum level of data on the screen, including speed, rpm, g-force, a location-based map, lap time and more; Sport Mode – shows fewer details on the overlay but includes key data including speed and g-force; Touring Mode – simply records and displays video and audio of the drive with no data overlay; Performance Mode – records performance metrics, such as 0 to 60 mph acceleration, 1/4-mile speed and elapsed time, and 0-100-0 mph runs.
The video can be viewed on the Corvette Stingray’s eight-inch color touchscreen when the car is parked, or downloaded to a computer for further editing, and sharing video via social media sites.
For users who want a more in-depth understanding of their performance, the PDR vehicle data can be opened in the included “Cosworth Toolbox” software, which combines Cosworth’s professional-level motorsport data analysis with an easy-to-use graphic interface.
The Cosworth Toolbox application overlays recorded laps on a Bing-enabled satellite map of the track, and compares selected laps in detail for any requested point on the drive. Comparisons include corner traces, vehicle speed, and cornering force to help drivers improve their driving consistency and ultimately their lap times.