Digitally transforming Renault Sport Formula One™ Team at high-speed
In Formula One racing, every millisecond counts. Renault Sport Formula One Team is turning to data and Microsoft technology to rapidly improve performance on and off the track.
Formula One racing is a fast-paced industry, where cars drive at over 220 miles per hour and generate more than 35 million data points during each weekend race. It’s a technologically demanding sport where constant innovation is essential. With races only a week or two apart, Renault Sport Formula One Team has to design and manufacture innovations for their cars on a race-by-race basis — often turning them around in just 24 hours.
- Mark Everest, IS Development Manager at Renault Sport Formula One TeamWe build two cars a year, not thousands of cars.
“We build two cars a year, not thousands of cars,” says Mark Everest, IS Development Manager at Renault Sport Formula One Team. “The innovation rate involved in design, simulation, testing and manufacturing is much faster than consumer car companies.”
Before each new season begins, an entirely new car is born. Renault Sport Formula One Team has partnered with Microsoft to create a mixed reality experience for the HoloLens that brings these changes to life at PR events around the world. And while the team is exploring how the HoloLens could impact engineering in the future, this experience will immerse viewers in the current evolution of design from earlier cars — like the RE40 (1983), R26 (2006), and R31 (2011) — to the most recent models, paired with facts about the design process and performance.
The Renault Sport Formula One Team recently unveiled their new car for the 2018 season – the R.S.18.
They partnered with Microsoft to create a mixed reality experience for the HoloLens that brings this design process to life.
Viewers can actually walk around a virtual version of the R.S.18 and learn about specific changes, like the addition of a halo to protect the driver.
The experience also showcases the evolution from earlier cars – like the RE40 (1983), R26 (2006), and R31 (2011) – to the most recent models.
The goal is to illustrate how the lines of the car have changed over time to improve performance, address rule changes, and make for the fastest car yet.
As part of their ongoing goal to reduce how long it takes to bring changes from idea to car, the Renault Sport Formula One Team has been partnering with Microsoft over the last several years to usher in a digital transformation. It began with moving to more agile technology to support their breakneck production cycles and collecting a treasure trove of cloud-based data that could be updated and accessed from virtually anywhere.
To streamline development, they turned to Microsoft Dynamics 365, which replaced aging systems and automated manual processes. And from a strategic standpoint, the Azure Machine Learning Suite has helped them rapidly collect and analyze vast amounts of data to automate predictions, track real-time conditions and alerts, and ultimately build faster cars.
“We deal with huge amounts of data in real time,” says Everest. “While the cars go around the track, they send a real-time stream of data, and there are people in the garage making decisions based on that data about what they can change to try and gain a competitive advantage on the track.”
This technological groundwork has helped Renault Sport Formula One Team continue to adopt and integrate other cutting-edge technologies into their design process, laying the foundation for their challenge to return and compete as a Championship contender.