Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Draft Track: Air Flow Physics and NASCAR

Based on how much the fans watching NASCAR on TV seem to hate this technology I doubt it'll be around any longer than the glowing puck in televised hockey. So be sure to check out Draft Track while you still can.

It displays graphics that are supposed to represent airflow over and behind race cars. Yellow indicates down force and drag, and blue shows the turbulent air in a car's wake.

I haven't yet been able to tell if this is real data being displayed, or only a simulation. I imagine they could do it with some sort of doppler radar, but I don't believe the resolution on current systems is good enough. It's ultra cool if it's real data, and a bit dorky if not.


  1. I read that this was computational data based on the positioning system that is used for scoring. Not sure how accurate it is, but I'm impressed that they actually were able to implement it.

  2. You can find more information on my blog, and a press release about the University of Washington scientists who invented the algorithm they use.