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Gentlemen, Start Your....Wireless Routers?—Tech at the Indy 500

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Sci/Tech

It's a big weekend here in Indianapolis. About this time each year, 33 men (and women) chase each other around the Brickyard in Indianapolis for about 3 hours while upwards of 250,000 of us get drunk and sunburned.

The technology of racing has never been lost on me, but this year there are some interesting developments in extreme technology at the Indy 500. Here are a few highlights:

  • Ultrafast WiFi routers are being used for telemetry in the Red Bull Cheever Racing car this year. The bandwidth afforded by the new Cisco routers can send over 180 channels of data from car to pits, including audio and video.

  • ABC is going all out to broadcast the event this year. New tech developments include a new 180-degree pan camera on the cars, and an ultralight wireless "balloon cam" that will ascend with the thousands of helium balloons that will be released during the opening ceremonies.
    Racing earplugs Delphi Earpiece Sensor System: a major advancement in safety.

  • XM Radio will provide live coverage of the race to its 4 million subscribers for the first time this year.
  • Safety is always a concern at the track. New earpieces worn by the drivers not only protect their hearing during the 500 miles of engine noise, but also contain embedded accelerometers that send g-force and other data immediately upon impact in the event of a crash. This information can be used to help determine the extent of possible head injuries.

  • The track was resurfaced last winter, which resulted in slick conditions on the 2.5 mile oval. To help increase traction, the entire track was diamond ground with diamond-tipped sawblades to rough the surface up a bit.
  • Even the crash test dummies are more high tech this year.

  • Of course, the Indy Racing League (IRL) provides live timing and scoring online if you are stuck in front of a computer this weekend.
    Have a great weekend and enjoy the race.

Source with lots of live links.

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