XM weather technology helps AGR team
The latest race technology was engineered for wings, not wheels, but it is now a unique new addition to Andretti Green Racing's arsenal of strategic tools. While other teams rely on local weather forecasts, AGR through its partnership with XM Satellite Radio has exclusive access to real-time weather data, delivered trackside to team computers by XM's powerful satellites. The result is up-to-the-second intelligence about critical weather elements that can impact race car performance, from wind speed and humidity to storm cells and lightning strikes.
While other teams rely on local weather forecasts to formulate their strategy, AGR engineers receive a constant stream of localized weather data directly to pit computers. The data is overlaid on a GPS map, and can be viewed in multiple formats. The result is an extensive system of current and approaching weather measurements, all of which allow AGR to customize racecar set-up and formulate strategy.
For example, accurate humidity and air density measurements are critical in optimizing car set-up as they can impact downforce, overall engine performance, even gear ratios. And, a weather condition such as cloud cover has a direct impact on track surface temperature, which in turn is a consideration when planning tire strategy.
While long the top choice of personal aircraft pilots and a growing force in the marine market, XM Weather technology is unique in this motorsports application. It is currently in the development stage for production car use and is expected to become available to new car buyers as early as next year. Developed by XM and its weather solutions partner Baron Services, the service is currently available to aviation, marine and emergency transponder customers through Baron's WxWorx (pronounced "weather works") division.
"With weather forecast to be a major factor in this year's Indy 500, we're happy to have XM Weather technology available as an additional strategic tool," said Kim Green, co-owner, Andretti Green Racing. "Racing is both science and art, and successful racing requires the absolute best combination of both."
The Forecast: XM Weather Moves from Race Track to Real Roads
XM introduced the concept of an automotive weather technology application earlier this year. The first full production vehicle application will feature the first personal weather tracking system for GPS navigation. The system tracks specific, real-time weather conditions between your current location and your final destination. Plus, it provides the near-term weather forecast for your personal path. Rather than simply give general weather conditions for a region, the system focuses on the weather on your individual route. The weather information is continuously updated and delivered to the navigation system via satellite.
"XM is offering the first system that alerts you to real-time weather threats on the road ahead," said Stuart Cox, senior vice president, advanced applications, XM. "You're not just getting the temperature and the forecast for a city. You get the weather that will impact your specific journey, and this information is constantly being updated. It's a major breakthrough in providing consumers with comprehensive, personalized weather information."