NASA has been busy exploring the future of racing and pushing the envelope of things to come in the racing industry. We have always been leaders, and many times you’ll hear top NASA brass talk about setting the example for all other organizations to follow. We try to set the bar high and strive to be the best of the best in what we do.
With this in mind, we have teamed up with the folks who put together the autonomous cars for Google and Bing, et al., and come up with a new spec racing series that uses the technology to ensure the cars are exactly equal in every way. Any car can join this new Spec Racing Series because the software and control unit will monitor speed, trajectory, GPS location, acceleration and equalize the race via vehicle-to-vehicle communications.
The cars will communicate, transferring data between cars to average the speeds, g forces, braking, acceleration, tire pressures, etc., all via GPS tracking. Once all the cars have completed one lap, then the data will be normalized to produce a “common racecar” algorithm and adjust the various other racecars to match the common racecar. The racecars will be adapted with a “Common Racecar Head Unit” that will be GPS-powered and tie into the vehicle’s ignition and ABS system. Once all the racecars are normalized, then the racing will be intense with no driver able to pull away from the pack. It is the ultimate in spec racing and the best thing is any car can be adapted with the CRHU! It was recently tested at a secret test track in the Southeast and had phenomenal results. All of the drivers were thrilled to be within milliseconds of each other for lap times, and no one driver could pull away with the lead. It was truly a driver’s race, where the best driver and strategy won.
NASA Official, Ryan Kunzman stated, “It is truly a breakthrough. Racecars will not need expensive engines or brakes any more as the racing will be 100 percent equal. The CRHU will do all of the work. The drivers will simply drive their best. This will save drivers millions in racecar maintenance and consumables.”
Look for the new CRHU’s soon at a track near you. NASA will be rolling them out in April 2016. They are free to anyone who wants to race in the series in 2016-2017, and will cost $100 starting in 2018. This is truly intensive racing at it’s best, inexpensive, equal and exciting — no fooling!