If you still don’t believe that title, I assure you that you read it right. From back in the day, the sport of Formula 1 has been leading in technological innovation, it is not by chance that it is considered the most technologically advanced sport, those in the tech community have even dubbed Formula 1 as the fastest R&D lab in the world. If you wonder how, then know that hybrid cars and a lot of the electric car tech we use today has formula 1 to thank, however, this is not an article about Motorsport, it’s about the stuff that comes after the races are done and the drivers go home.
Smart phone manufacturers are always looking for ways to make the smartphone a better and more efficient device for us to use. I recent years, when smartphone makers were looking for the next best thing, they turned to formula 1 to test and refine a crucial component of the phone which is data transfer.
Data transfer is part of the lifeblood of the phone, using the internet, downloads, uploads, sending texts, sharing files and even making phone calls all require a form of data transfer, the challenge we have with data transfer today is that we are not able to transfer as much data as we would want at a go. For instance, if you wanted to download a 1 GB file, it would take a several minutes or a couple of hours. Finding a solution to this challenge is where Formula 1 comes in.
During a race, the cars transfer a lot of data to the engineers through a wireless connection. It is estimated that a single F1 car generates about 500GB of data in a race. As the cars race around the track at speeds of over 300 km/hr they send data on on how the car is performing to the engineers in real time so that they ca make informed decisions. Because the cars go by really fast, there is a need to make data transfer just as fast if not even faster. In 2017, Mercedes Benz F1 team and Qualcomm which is the largest smartphone chip maker partnered to work on a new data transfer method one that is would be faster than what was the industry standard. In the year since the work began, they were able to achieve transfer speeds of 1.9 Gigabits per second. To put that into perspective, at that speed, you can download a 1 GB file in less than 5 seconds. This technology has been in use in the Mercedes Benz garage F1 garage and the results have shown in the success that the team has had this year. This therefore means that in a couple of years we could he receiving this kind of technology in our smartphones, after all Qualcomm has been a large part of the development process. This technology if implemented has the potential to revolutionize the way phones operate.