Thursday, 26 May 2011
24 Hour Le Mans: Audi connect also in Audi R18 TDI
Audi connect also in Audi R18 TDI
• Only two weeks remain until the 24 Hours of Le Mans
• Motorsport also a pioneer for connectivity solutions
• Audi connect ensures greater active safety
Ingolstadt, May 26, 2011 – the brand with the four rings bundles all applications
and developments connecting today’s and future Audi models with the internet,
the owner and the infrastructure under the term “Audi connect.” Motorsport is
also a pioneer in the area of connectivity solutions.
Communication between the car and pits is of great importance – especially at the
24 Hours of Le Mans. Audi connect also plays an important role in the active safety
in the new Audi R18 TDI fighting for overall victory at Le Mans on June 11/12.
As early as 2001 Audi Sport developed, in cooperation with tire partner Michelin, a
system that warns the driver of pressure loss in a tire. A sensor fitted to every Audi
R18 TDI wheel constantly monitors the tire pressure and transmits this data to the
car’s central electronic unit. If the pressure falls, a red warning light illuminates on
the high-tech steering wheel. The engineers in the pits are also warned immediately.
“Since the introduction of this technology, tire failures due to pressure loss and
subsequent potential accidents, have been completely avoided,” says Joachim
Hausner, Head of Complete Vehicle at Audi Sport.
No less than 1,005 data channels are permanently recorded on the Audi R18 TDI,
monitored and transmitted to the pits by telemetry. At Le Mans, about 16
Megabytes of data are accrued every lap which are then evaluated with the help of
state-of-the-art computer technology. Additionally, each time a car passes the pits
high frequency “burst” data recorded during the previous lap is transmitted which
helps engineers in their analysis thus guaranteeing the vehicle parameters are
Theoretically the technicians could also control the most important vehicle
functions by telemetry from the pits with Audi connect. However, the Automobile
Club de l’Ouest (ACO) regulations prohibit this. For this reason radio traffic between
driver and pits plays an important role. Based on this data, which is studied and
interpreted by data and engine engineers, the race engineer gives the driver
instructions by radio. The brake balance between the front and rear axles, traction
control (ASR) and the engine maps (MAP and MIX) are changed the most frequently
while driving. These functions are all integrated into the steering wheel on the
R18 TDI. “We don’t have to take our hands off the steering wheel while driving,”
says Le Mans record winner Tom Kristensen.
“Switch to MAP 3” or “Use ASR 10” are typical instructions given to the drivers from
their race engineers during the race. Every member of the crew is also connected by
radio and is therefore ready in a flash should the car make an unscheduled pit stop.
Audi connect is also used during pit stops: after an incorrectly fastened wheel nut
cost Dindo Capello, Tom Kristensen and Allan McNish almost certain victory at Le
Mans in 2007, a system that monitors the wheel gun tightening torque was
developed with partner Megaline. “In this way it’s guaranteed that no car leaves the
pits with the wheel nut torque too low,” confirms Joachim Hausner. Audi connect
helps active safety here as well.
The organizers are also permanently connected with the Audi R18 TDI: they monitor
the maximum permitted turbo boost pressure and compliance with the maximum
cockpit temperature. The fans also benefit from connectivity solutions: Three LED
modules fitted to the side of each car indicate which cars currently hold one of the
top-three positions in each class. The identity of the driver currently sitting at the
wheel is transmitted directly from the car to the electronic timing system and is
visible on the monitors.
Audi goes one step further: guests of the brand have been able to view the most
important telemetry data for years – and like the engineers in the pits also follow
the car on a digital image of the track which shows exactly where each car is at that
moment. The images from the onboard cameras are also broadcast live. For the
future Audi is also working on making the data and images available via Apps for
users of smartphones, iPads and internet websites – this also stands for Audi
Info and Photos: Audi Sport/acreditated media press.
Posted by AmigosRacing/MRS GT. at 12:38