Don’t take your foot off the electrons

Posted November 8, 2021 by Mark Whalley, Manager, Vertica Education

Season 7 of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship was Jaguar Racing’s most successful year in its five-year Formula E campaign. With eight podiums, two wins, and one pole position, scoring 177 points, saw them finish the Season as runners-up in a field of twelve teams, and just four points behind Mercedes EQ.

In a very short window, Season 7 saw Jaguar Racing move from their legacy NoSQL platform to Vertica as its high-performance advanced analytics and machine learning platform. They now have data for every reading, for every signal, for every car, for every event; shake downs, free practice runs, qualifying and super pole and the races themselves, as well as from track tests and driver in-the-loop simulator runs, all at their fingertips with Vertica. Critical data is available to query within seconds, and all the data from an event within minutes. Compared with NASCAR (who it was reported could load 100 million messages for a single race weekend), Jaguar Racing loaded 3 billion data points from their Season 7 race weekend in Rome, and at the close of Season 7, had captured over 100 billion data points. With blazingly fast query performance, and access to 700 in-database functions, Vertica has meant that Jaguar Race Engineers and Strategists have been able to glean important insights into the data and make critical performance adjustments to the powertrain, suspension, steering, braking and power management that were just not possible prior to the introduction of Vertica.

But it doesn’t stop there. With the official launch of Jaguar Racing’s Season 8, and the unveiling of the Jaguar I-TYPE 5 race car, Phase II of the project is well underway. As Phil Charles (Jaguar Racing Technical Manager) said during the S8 launch event, although this Season they are working with the same homologated hardware as Season 7, “…the software development is absolutely ferocious. You cannot afford to take your foot off the electrons for more than a second, as someone else will overtake you.” Working closely with the performance simulation and race engineers, the Vertica team, including myself, are helping Jaguar Racing integrate their existing web-based applications for visualising key analytics at both the trackside and back at their HQ in England.

Season 8 sees a number of new sporting and race regulations being brought in by the governing body (FIA). Including more power in race mode and extended time to account for any stoppages. All of which present the team with yet more data challenges and opportunities to make a mark.

In parallel to competing in Season 8’s events around the world, Jaguar Racing’s design team are already preparing for the next evolution of the Formula E car colloquially known as Gen3. Set to commence in the 2022/23 season, the Gen3 era will deliver 100KW more power, a motor on the front of the car providing front regen, and a new tyre supplier. This not only presents lots of new engineering challenges, and but also lots more data to be analysed.

All-in-all, a really exciting time ahead for Season 8, and preparations for Season 9.

Vertica will be there, at the core, providing yet more insights to the data. To make better and faster decisions. To take more pole positions. To win more races. To score more points. With the goal of winning the World Championship in Season 8 – and beyond.

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