Incredibly happy to be writing this blog entry to introduce the Track Attack Analytics App into a public Beta! We’ve been working on this for the past 6+ months and glad to finally get it to more people’s hands.
What is it?
First, it’s a companion experience. Our goal with Track Attack has always been to be more than just an app and this is one big step to proving that. When you become a Track Attack user, you get a great app to record lap times and video, a place to store your entire history, share easily with friends online and now, a place to analyze your data in the easiest way possible. It is initially available for Windows 8, 8.1 and 10 tablets, laptops and PC’s.
We’ve been working with leading minds in the motorsport industry (coaches, drivers and instructors) on identifying the most critical views of data and things to focus on for the vast majority of drivers. We then took those views and made those the center of the app experience so that anyone can easily analyze their data. No need to be a tech wiz or a race engineer to ‘play with data’!
This is not data analysis for pro-racing teams making a living from racing. This is data analysis for the rest of us. We will continue to improve and tweak based on your feedback but our goal is not to be another AIM Race Studio or Motec or Pi. We will focus on the making the core views on data easy to gather, easy to use and easy to share/compare.
Single Lap Analysis
The first view in the app is the ability to view a single session/lap in isolation. The point here is really to zoom in on you and whether you are driving at the limit. When we talked with driver coaches and instructors, they told us that after they’ve covered the basics with a driver and they knew the driver understood the track, braking points, turn-in points, the line, etc… they would then turn their focus to the traction limit.
How much of the traction limit is the driver using and how consistent are they? This is where we focus in on the traction circle. The accelerometers in most smartphones aren’t great but they can get the job done. The goal here is to see if and how that little dot in the traction circle is moving around? Is it transitioning smoothly from braking, to turning to acceleration – around the traction circle in a nice arch? Or is moving forward under breaking and then back down before shifting to the side for the turn? That’s the difference. Coaches told us that many times, they will prefer to have a driver, driving at the limit across the track over driving the perfect line around the track.
Multiple Session Analysis
Alright, you dug into your laps and you think you have a handle on the traction limit. Now, you want to see what you did different in that one magical lap. You did something and got faster but you have no idea what. This is where the multiple lap analysis view shines. Here you can select any two laps within a session and compare them on top of each other. You can watch the laps play real time and see the differences in the video, see the differences on the map and figure out what’s going on.
Now you know!
This is the crown jewel! In the analytics app you can go into each of the tracks you’ve driven and create segments. Those segments are then applied to all of your sessions and this really shines in a few places:
- When you’re comparing two laps, we calculate the differences in segment times automatically and you can zoom in immediately and see where the biggest differences in time are. This is even more powerful if you are able to get a driver coach, instructor or just a faster driver to drive your car in a session or split a session together. You then have their data and can see exactly where the gaps in lap times are – instantly!
- Continuing on the theme of having someone else drive your car in a given session or comparing two sessions (one where you drove and another where the other person drove), you can now pull a segment report across all of that data and come up with a virtual fastest lap. This is where we take the fastest times for each segment and put together a virtual fastest lap (or sometimes referred to as a theoretical fastest lap). Great but this is available in other places. Well, we go one step further! If you have the video for each of those sessions uploaded, we then piece together the video of all of those fastest segments and compile a video that virtual fastest lap. Now, you can see exactly what that lap looks like. This is even more powerful when you use a GoPro as your camera source, getting a shot of the driver (for the driver inputs) and looking out the front windshield. There is nothing more powerful that you can use for a visualization tool!
- Lastly, you can do the above in #2 for just your laps. Take any single session and analyze your segments, the virtual fastest lap, the corresponding video and even drill into any individual segment cell, not just the fastest ones.
The last thing here is that you find that in a given session, where you might have focused only on the fastest lap before, now you know that there is a ton of value in the other laps. Maybe a lap wasn’t the overall fastest because of traffic or a mistake but you could have had a great segment time there. Now you will know and it’s time to put it all together!
How To Videos
Even though we made it a goal to have this be the easiest to use analytics tool in motorsports, it’s new and we wanted to show you all how to use it. So we shot a bunch of How-To videos and put them directly in the app!
Let us know how to make it better!
Lastly, this experience is in public beta and it will be for a while, for a reason. We want to make this better with your input and feedback. Check it out, use it, beat it up, break it and tell us how to make it better! Tell us and share your thoughts with everyone else here on the Support Forum!