Monday, December 24, 2012

Formula 1′s coolest technologies

Many of us think that the cars that zoom past us while watching Formula 1 races or any other MotorSport event, are just cars lie all others - till we peep into their 'cockpits.'

These cars from the driver's seat look like a video game console panel - fully digitized and technology intensive.

The Formula Driver's Steering Wheel is a Tech-Wheel now

In the early days, and up through the 1990s, Formula One (F1) drivers needed to shift gears with one hand and steer with the other. That didn’t leave much room or, well, appendages to fiddle with vehicle controls. With the introduction of semi-automatic transmissions, however, which are controlled with paddles located behind the steering wheel, the room for possibilities opened up wide in the F1 world, reports digital trends.

Now the steering wheel is the main tech hub for the driver - not circular anymore, but rather stretched sideways looking almost rectangular. The tech-wheel as we may call it only turns three quarters of a turn from lock to lock.


Besides controlling his car, the same steering console provides many other function to the driver from many push buttons installed in the centre, including  a push-to-talk radio button for team communication; a neutral button used in case of a spin-out; a pit-lane speed limiter, so a car doesn't enter the pits too quickly; traction control settings; fuel to air mixture; the brake force ratio from front to rear; a DRS control; and a KERS boost button. Don’t worry; those last two acronyms will be detailed shortly. All of these functions allow the driver to adjust – on the fly –  how the vehicle behaves based upon track and race conditions.

The tech intensive cars are only the beginning. From 2014, we may see engine displacement size shrinking from the current 2.4-liter V8s to 1.6-liter V6s.

Read more about it at: Digital Trends

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