Chevrolet (USA) has announced an industry-first Performance Data Recorder (PDR) for the Corvette Stingray. The integrated system enables users to record high-definition video, with telemetry overlays, of their driving experiences on and off the track.
THE SYSTEM WAS ANNOUNCED IN JANUARY at the Consumer Electronics Show, which takes place in Las Vegas, Nevada. It 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 Corvette production, later in the third quarter of 2014.
The PDR system includes three major components, all integrated into the Corvette Stingray’s interior. First is a 720 p, 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 Hz, or cycles per second, which 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 car’s Controller Area Network 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-GiB card can record approximately 200 min, while a 32-GiB card stores up to about 800 min – more than 13 h of driving time.
“The Performance Data Recorder combines the ability to record and share drive videos with the power of a professional-level motorsports telemetry system,” said Tadge Juechter, Corvette chief engineer. “Drivers can easily record and share their experiences driving down the Tail of the Dragon or lapping Road Atlanta. In addition, with the included telemetry software, users can analyze their laps in incredible detail and find opportunities to improve their driving and lap times.”
The PDR system can record video with three data overlay options, each rendered in real time: The Track Mode shows the maximum level of data on the screen, including speed, rpm, g-force, a location-based map, lap time and more. The Sport Mode shows fewer details on the overlay but includes key data including speed and g-force, while The Touring Mode simply records and displays video and audio of the drive with no data overlay. The Performance Mode records performance metrics.
The video can be viewed on the 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 vehicle data can be opened in the included “Cosworth Toolbox” software, which combines the company’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.
“The ability to review laps between track sessions can identify immediate adjustments for quicker laps in the next session,” said Juechter. “It’s like having a 32-GiB crew chief trackside providing you with real-time feedback to improve your driving skills.”
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