Honda, Watson IoT and Formula 1

By | 1 minute read | November 22, 2016

Race car

Every driver that exits the cockpit of Honda’s all new MP4-31 leaves with a determination to uncover those last few tweaks needed to shave thousandths of a second off their lap times. The MP4-31, a striking and innovative beast, hugs the corners of each turn at the Silverstone Circuit in Towcester, United Kingdom.

This rainy afternoon has Honda’s Formula 1 racing team making in-season adjustments to its hybrid power unit before its next race in Hungary. This Honda race engine, which churns out over 800 horsepower at 15,000 RPMs, is equipped with several sensors used to send data back to an IBM Watson Internet of Things (IoT) platform.

Using IoT analytics: Honda and Formula One racing

Using IoT analytics: Honda and Formula One racing

Honda, IBM, and analytics and predictive maintenance

Several years ago, Honda’s Research and Development (R&D) organization realized that new sources of big data – vehicle diagnostics and telematics – had great potential. Honda’s R&D big data analytics environment is based on IBM Watson Content Analytics and IBM Predictive Maintenance and Quality. The IBM Watson Content Analytics solution runs on SoftLayer, IBM’s flexible cloud platform. Together, these Watson IoT platforms give an important advantage to Honda R&D that has shown the company’s engineers the value of big data analytics in understanding how cars and drivers behave in real-world conditions, while identifying new engineering projects.

“We have an extensive dashboarding team they’re using to better understand everything from engine pressure to temperature to velocity – all those kinds of things,” said Karen Newman, VP of Services over the Global Honda Account. “When you’re going at high speeds with all of these data points, you’re looking at all of these variables – like wind efficiency, or a wet track. I don’t think human beings can assess that amount of data as quickly – so technologies like cognitive and artificial intelligence and analytics are being used.”

Follow the Honda Formula 1 racing team during their next race at the Brazilian Grand Prix in Sao Paulo, Brazil, November 11-13th.

To learn more about IBM IoT solutions at Honda, check out Honda R&D’s Chief Engineer, Kyoka Nakagawa, as she highlights vehicle sensor data improving the driving experience.