Race car drivers all share one thing in common: To cross the finish line in as little time as possible. Seattle-based AutoSport Labs is helping them do that with some pretty neat technology.
The company just smashed its indiegogo funding goal by over 150 percent for Race Capture Pro, a revolutionary open-sourced alternative for collecting driving data that is usually expensive to gather.
“We wanted something with broad appeal and where open source technology wasn’t being represented,” CEO Brent Picasso said.
Here’s how it works. Race or street drivers can put the Race Capture Pro hardware into their car and receive real-time driving data as they shred the track. Want to know why you spun out on turn 3? Wondering why your buddy continues to beat you by several seconds each lap? Whether it’s tire pressure, suspension issues or steering angles, you can find all that out and more immediately with the software.
Race Capture Pro uses bluetooth and can send info to an Android app, as well as the internet. The app can also serve as a dash display, providing info like lap time deltas. There’s all kinds of cool features within the hardware, including digital accelerometers to measure G-forces and yaw sensors to measure car rotation and over/understeer conditions.
Also included is the Race Analyzer software, which allows you to import data from multiple sessions and compare them side by side, using a variety of charts, gauges and visualization tools. Race Capture Pro also records data in a comma-separated value (CSV) format to load data into other tools.
It uses a powerful scripting language on board called Lua, which lets drivers create commands to read sensors and activate outputs based on user-defined logic. The software is open-sourced so that the racing community can all contribute to the project.
The inspiration for Race Capture Pro came from the success of an AutoSport Labs-produced ignition controller called MegaJolt Jr. In addition, the employees at AutoSport participate in an endurance road racing series called 24 Hours of Lemons and they simply wanted to figure out ways to shorten those lap times.
“We want the technology to help us learn how to go faster and wanted create some real value in the world and offer this to the grassroots community,” Brent said.
The company plans to release source code and designs after the initial Race Capture Pro unit is completed. Autosport Labs was founded by Picasso and Kelley Picasso in 2008 and develops affordable, open technologies for race and street applications.
“Our elevator pitch is high value, open source, community-supported technology for motorsport and street applications,” Brent said. “Because we operate leanly, we can iterate and pivot very quickly with new offerings.”
The company is 100-percent bootstrapped and got off the ground by developing MegaJolt Jr., which eventually gained popularity around the world. Its facility is based in Lynnwood.
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