Intel® Technology Story: Tablets on the Speedway
Every NASCAR* team wants a competitive edge. Red Bull* racing finds theirs with handheld tablets and bar code scanners.
Expectations run very high at a NASCAR race. Fans expect to see daring maneuvers in pursuit of the checkered flag. Drivers expect their cars to be in optimum condition for racing and their pit crews to keep them running smoothly throughout the grueling race. And the winner expects a trophy and prize money up to $1.5 million.
The drama goes on for hours but critical decisions are made in just a matter of seconds. Seconds that determine who wins – and everyone else who doesn't.
Every NASCAR team seeks a competitive advantage. Red Bull Racing Team, a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team, relies on the MobileDemand xTablet T7000* to give them an edge over the competitors. Instead of a white board, paper, and pencil, the team uses the handheld tablets and built-in bar code scanners to complete very technical calculations about the car's fuel consumption, tire wear, and speed to help determine how many laps they can run before making a pit stop.
Even the pit stops are highly calculated races, with a team of crew members having less than 14 seconds to service the race car on pit road. The MobileDemand xTablets have proven to be reliable tools for helping calculate and share vital information among the members of the race team, as well as track data on competitors.
The tablets provide automated collection and sharing of critical performance data to help the Red Bull Racing Team streamline complex race day procedures. "We've sped up the data flow probably more than a hundred fold," said John Probst, technical director, Red Bull Racing Team. "The tire guys said the first weekend we had the tablets at the track saved them 90 minutes just in sorting tires." In fact, the tablet allows the entire team to share real-time data for quicker decision making.
The rugged reliability of the MobileDemand Tablet PC makes it suitable for use in the hot, noisy, dirty environment of the race track. "We put an Intel® Atom™ processor in there because it could deliver the right kind of performance and stand up to the harsh working conditions of the race pit," explains Matt Miller, president of MobileDemand.
The Red Bull Racing Team believes the Intel Atom processor-based tablets provide them with a real competitive advantage. One that's easy to see throughout the race. "You would not believe the interest we've had from the other guys (NASCAR teams) wondering what we have and what we do with it," said Chris Lambert, spotter, Red Bull Racing. "NASCAR itself has looked at it with us. There is no keeping this a secret around the track."