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nascar app microsoft

An app to manage NASCAR races is actually a thing

Yeah yeah, every time I see a “X business benefits from Microsoft cloud” headline, I throw up a little.

But I like motorsport, so when Microsoft outlined its work with NASCAR, my attention was piqued somewhat.

The Redmond company has produced Mobile Inspection and Race Management apps for the racing series, making for some rather interesting changes in the pitlane.

An easier way to officiate?

The latter is the newest app, being designed for race organisers and officials to keep abreast of the action.

“The race management app collects live video feeds and transponder data from the cars around the track. For the first time, officials have live, detailed braking, throttling, RPM, speed, and lap fraction times directly from each car, in the control booth in real time,” Microsoft explained in a blog post.

“Race managers can assess track conditions, monitor pit stops, and see each car’s precise position, time, and scoring instantly from any data feed.”

In fact, the company claimed that NASCAR officials had to previously rely on six separate screens for all the information displayed.

NASCAR’s Stephen Byrd added that the tech made for fast access to information.

“After the finish, an official can take a Surface device with the Windows 10 app down to the garage and show a team exactly what we saw in race control,” Byrd explained.

Microsoft also revealed that all data in the app is saved online, allowing teams to quickly access it.

“In the past, the information wouldn’t be available for days,” Microsoft explained, before hinting at the future of the app.

“Beyond officiating live races, NASCAR and Microsoft are exploring how the Race Management app will be able to help officials resolve post-race disputes with competitors with video captured during the race.”

Parc ferme made easier

Microsoft’s first app, dubbed Mobile Inspection, has apparently streamlined things in a big way for the scrutineering process. This process sees officials pore over every centimetre of a car to ensure it’s compliant with the rule book.

“The Mobile Inspection app on Microsoft Surface devices has reduced inspection time of six hours down to three and has already replaced more than 20 000 sheets of paper,” the company explained.

The Redmond company said new updates will shave off ten hours of time each race weekend spent “verifying decal and paint scheme” information.

Now, the real question is just how long it will take Formula 1 to embrace this kind of technology…

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