Toyota Racing Development (TRD) — a subsidiary of Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A. Inc. that serves as the North American racing arm for design, development and assembly of Toyota’s factory racing engines and chassis — worked with Microsoft Corp. to design a touch-enabled app for Windows 8.
According to Microsoft, the app is the centerpiece of a new strategy to improve the performance of the Toyota teams competing in NASCAR. It was announced Saturday, Feb. 23.
When drivers, crew chiefs and team engineers expressed the need for a more mobile computing platform to monitor real-time performance data, TRD answered with the Windows 8 Trackside app running on Surface Pro hardware.
During practice, drivers and crew chiefs previously had to record racing performance data with software on a laptop, or even with pencil and paper, requiring drivers to get out of their race cars to view information about the car’s performance, as well as to explain what was happening on the track.
“The Trackside app allows TRD to spend more time driving and less time in the garage reviewing performance data, with a touch-based mobile tablet that can go from portable note taker to a high-performance monitor in less time than it takes to change even one tire,” said Jason Campbell, group product marketing manager at Microsoft.
Now, the race team can efficiently capture performance data through the touch-based app and share it with the crew in real time, enabling mechanics to immediately get to work fine-tuning the race car for enhanced performance.
Trackside also offers touch-enabled data that gives the crew chief and driver insight and analysis on timing and scoring data versus competitors, allowing a team to determine if the right adjustments have been made to the car or what adjustments may need to be made.
“Trackside running on Surface Pro means more time is spent on the track and less time is spent talking,” said Steve Wickham, TRD’s vice president of chassis operations.