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Cosworth isn't best known for its self-driving car technology, but that could very well change one day. The legendary maker of Formula 1 and other high-performance engines plans to expand into the self-driving car arena, and it's using race data to expedite its offerings.
Company CEO Hal Reisiger told Automotive News (subscription required) in an interview published Tuesday that race data and racing applications can help ensure self-driving technology is robust and reliable. For example, by testing the technology in race conditions, say the Indy 500 with 33 cars doing 200+ mph, "your system and technology had better work," Reisiger said.
Cosworth's self-driving tech stems from its AliveDrive telemetry platform, which captures driving experiences for fun or as a dashcam. The technology also includes a driver and vehicle analysis coach to help drivers perform better on the track and looks at a number of variables.
The technology has become a building block for Cosworth, which already telegraphs how a driver and vehicle are behaving through data; in the future, it will be how quickly Cosworth can use this data to make a car behave like a human, via artificial intelligence and machine learning.
With the foundation set, Cosworth set a plan in action five years ago to become a tier one supplier on both the powertrain and electronics side of the automotive business. The strategy sees Cosworth apply the best of its powertrain expertise with "experience integrating sensor data output with data analysis." The company's expertise comes after shareholders purchased the company from Ford in 2004 and also acquired Pi Research in the process.
Soon, AliveDrive will add lidar and radar input to form a "perception module" and really begin digging into self-driving technology, which Reisiger believes isn't too far of a stretch.
"It's actually a natural sequence for us because we can leverage past and current technologies," he explained.