SAE - Analysis Techniques for Racecar Data Acquisition

Organization: SAE
Publication Date: 24 February 2014
Page Count: 537

Preface to the Second Edition

When the first edition of this book was first published in 2008, my goal was to create a book presenting up-to-date techniques to analyze data collected from onboard data logging systems in race cars. Since the first edition, I have received a great deal of feedback from people all over the world indicating that I was successful in obtaining this goal. I am extremely happy that this book has been able to fill a void in this everdeveloping area.

However, since 2008 my personal understanding of this subject has evolved. First of all, the technology has developed, making it possible to obtain more advanced and accurate data regarding the performance of race cars at less cost. There are a number of observations that have led me to write this second edition.

Some race series have actively restricted data logging to decrease the team's running budgets. In these cases, it is extremely important that a maximum of information be extracted and interpreted from the hardware that is at hand. Although I do not agree with the philosophy of limiting data acquisition by sporting regulations, it does level the field, as everybody will have access to the same information. This means that a team that uses the data more efficiently will have an edge over the competition.

The opposite is also true. The ever-decreasing cost of electronics makes advanced sensors and logging capabilities more accessible for everybody. With this comes the risk of information overload. There will be a point where a team will no longer be able to process all the available data. Therefore, techniques need to be provided that will help in drawing the right conclusions quickly from very large data sets.

I wanted to include newly gained knowledge since the first publication. Experience is a continuous process, and I felt that the time had come to upgrade the book. There were some items in the first edition that needed to be addressed, explained better, or with more examples. The book contains three new chapters. The first (chapter 8) covers the techniques that are available to analyze tire performance. The second (chapter 17) gives an introduction to metric-driven analysis, a technique that is used throughout the book. Finally, a chapter was added to explain what kind of information the data contains about the track being driven on (chapter 18).