This is the future of car tech
Virtual Mercs and Mustang pinball: Pat Devereux reports from the Las Vegas Consumer Electronics Show
Posted: 09 Jan 2014
2015 Corvette Stingray Performance Data Recorder
Chevrolet vaulted straight to the front of the tech queue with its announcement that later this year all Corvette Stingrays - TG's Not A Muscle Car of the Year - will be available with a Performance Data Recorder. And this is not just any data recorder, it's better, more detailed than anything that's ever been available from a manufacturer before. This is not just a gimmick, it's a proper telemetry system.
Developed by Cosworth, the storied British motorsports that has been working with the factory Corvette racing team for years, the system starts with a hi-def camera and microphone mounted behind the rear view mirror. These are factory fitted, so there are no wires sticking out anywhere. The camera and mic feed into a data recorder fitted with its own super-accurate GPS receiver and a dedicated link to the Stingray's sizeable brain.
The system can record up to three overlay options on the video. Track Mode shows everything from speed and rpm to g-force. Sport Mode shows slightly less detail. Performance Mode records all speed metrics like 0-60mph and lap times. And for when you just want to take a video of the road or track you are on and nothing else, there's Touring Mode, which just records the video and screams and nothing else.
All the vehicle and video info is then stored on an SD card, and the replays can be either watched on the eight-inch nav screen when the car is in park, or on your computer. If you want to get serious with the data, you can with the Cosworth Toolbox app. This overlays laps on a satellite map, and compares selected laps in fine detail, logging everything from corner traces to braking input to help you see where you are going too slow and too fast.
At the moment, the system is factory installed only and can't be retrofitted to earlier or other cars. But Cosworth has indicated that it is looking to offer an aftermarket version at some point in the future that could work with GoPro cameras.