Wind River Systems, a maker of software that powers many of the lesser-known types of computing devices hidden in the fabric of the high-tech world, has won approval to have its operating system used in Formula One race cars. Read the report at ZDNews.
Wind River OS Zooms Onto Racetracks
2002-05-15 OS News 8 Comments
Ferrari spends $300 million dollars per year on its Formula One project and designs its hand-built cars using SGI servers for design and simulation. A new car is virtually re-designed from scratch for every single racing season. F1 cars are rolling technology platforms, packed with literally miles of wiring and an unbelievable number of embedded systems. Even the engine transmissions are entirely computer controlled for gear changes that take place in the blink of an eye. Large servers in the crew pits store megabytes of statistical data on each car’s performance during every race for later analysis. The overall R&D that goes into Formula One racing is mind-boggling. Money is no object to these people and only the absolute best of everything is used (VxWorks?).
I learned about this in an terrific Wired magazine article a couple of years ago. The technical people who work on Formula One racing teams are probably the highest paid and most valued in the world, so that is a good career option if you are looking [good luck].
Wind River, author of the worst PPPoE client ever known to man (WinPoET), is writing software that decides whether a human being lives or dies. Life is a funny, funny thing.
You’d be surprised how many computers are in production cars and what all they do. There are dozens of computers and often control just one part. Things that this system is doing are allready done by onboard computers in many cars. This is basicly just a link to to car. The Data acustion ( i can’t spell it) is allready on these cars and is downloaded after races. Linclon was doing the computer controled suspension 10 years ago. Actully most things in cars have been around longer than most people give credit. The reason cars cost so much isn’t the actual cost it’s the cost of developing them and what goes into them. Companies will spend many many millions on small peices of technology. And since there is no patching and life in death comes in getting all bugs squashed takes years.
Also I imaging the computer system running much of the car is Dspace. I would think the auto industy has some of the biggest computer systems around. They can fully crash test cars in computers and basicly do most all testing in computers. How a company like ferrari can afford this I don’t know, their cars may cost 500k but they don’t sell many and they are their own sponser. I imaging they have very loose acountants that let them spend so much. You think about it they basicly sell cars as merchanise to pay for racing.
To be fair to WindRiver (nope don’t work there, have used their products though) WinPoET is developed by FinePoint Technologies, WindRiver just sells/distributes/markets it.
SAAB has just released their latest version of their 9.3 car model. Apparently you can now connect your portable PC to this cars internal computer system…
You probably come into contact with Wind River software that has control over your life more often than you think. Think air traffic control, think traffic lights, think petrol station pumps etc… What would you rather? XP Embedded? Pah!
Ferrari racing and the Ferrari car company share very little. Ferrai car sales could not nearly sustain the racing program. Ferrari itself is just barely solvent. Ferrari is owned by Fiat/SA, a large chunk of which is owned by the Italian Gov. Although it might seem like money is no object to them, it is. The FAI has made many rule changes to make fielding a car cheaper over the last few years, even so several teams have folded.
The other comment about the Saab, every car sold in the US over most of the 90’s, has an OBD-II computer. These can be hooked to a laptop with a special adapter.
Thanks, I was wondering who currently owned ferrari. Yeah The FAI is always working on trying to stop teams from going spending mad. Also OBD-II is required by law (pretty dang sure) so i can’t see any cars not having it. OBD-III is nearing but there is some privacy issue and such with it. That system is capable of telling police as you drive that part of your car (say an emmissions part) is not working and the cop will pull you over and tell you to fix it. That kind of thing freaks many out. Also the system pretty much make tweaking your car impossable.