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Rinland's vision of the future

NEWS STORY
02/08/2014

As part of the collaborative design project 'Dunlop Future Race Car Challenge', the tyre manufacturer has gathered the opinions of industry experts and motorsport fans about what the 'race car of the future' might look like.

Culminating this innovative campaign, Dunlop enlisted the help of renowned Grand Prix and Le Mans designer Sergio Rinland, who reviewed the ideas submitted by fans across Europe on powertrains, aerodynamics, brakes and tyres, and combined them into an innovative sketch.

Electric powertrain, camera navigation, morphing shape with no wings needed for downforce, intelligent tyres, ERS replacing disc brakes, are just some of the elements of the 'race car of the future', designed by Rinland who has a long and illustrious history in motorsports, having worked with F1 teams including Williams, Brabham, Sauber and Benetton, as well as Eagle-Toyota in Indycar and team Opel in the German Touring Car Championship. He now runs his own consultancy company – Astauto Ltd (trading as Sergio Rinland Consulting) - working on IndyCar, GP2 and LMP sportscars, to name but a few. The consultancy is also heavily involved in simulation and alternative energy developments, electric and hybrid car projects.

The vehicle has been designed with four electric motors that would initially sit in-board the vehicle. As technology progresses and motors become lighter and more powerful, they will become out-board, in wheel motors, providing even more flexibility in the car's design.

With one individual motor per wheel, the car has the capability of torque vectoring between each wheel. Administering the torque at each wheel will improve the aerodynamics efficiency and the use of tyres, as it will no longer be necessary for the wheels to turn when approaching a corner

Initially this design has a Hydrogen fuel-cell electricity generator on-board, with a small Li-Ion battery as a power buffer. As the technology develops, this design has the possibility to incorporate induction charging pads on-board. Closed racing circuits may have induction charging infrastructure in the future, allowing the cars to run without having to carry the energy on-board, which will make this vehicle even more efficient and lighter.

The car has been designed with piezoelectric materials in its composite materials laminate. The adaptive bodywork will allow the car to change its shape to reduce drag on the straights, increase down force in the corners and control all cooling needs as the car runs. In addition, by incorporating nanoparticles into these composite materials, the structure of the car will have further enhanced strength, lightness and safety features.

Cameras and small screens (which will be inside the canopy) will give the driver 360° peripheral vision, rather than vision through traditional car mirrors, enhancing safety alongside reducing drag.

Using technology that Dunlop is currently developing, tyres will have internal sensors to send information to the control systems; these will be able to adapt the suspension, power delivery and braking systems to utilise the tyres to maximum advantage.

By embedding intelligent materials such as the ones used in the bodywork, the tyres will be able to control their temperature and pressure, as well as change shape. This will allow reduced rolling resistance and induced drag in the straights, and increased contact patch area during the braking and cornering events.

Also, by having tyres that adapt themselves to the circumstances and the environment, it will not be necessary to change them for weather conditions nor for wear - they will last for the whole race.

No energy-wasteful brakes will be used; all the braking energy will be recovered and stored in flywheels and/or super-capacitors to be used for power peaks events during the races.

Electronics and control systems will be advanced to such an extent that the driver will evolve to be more of a 'vehicle operator'. This is a similar evolution than we have seen in the last 30 years, not to say 125 years.

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by Natcheztoo, 13/08/2014 20:45

"This whole exercise is a joke, right? Yeah, that's it! That's the ticket! And, NotRocketSurgery (just below) is smoking something that is mostly illegal.

God help me!"

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2. Posted by NotRocketSurgery, 07/08/2014 19:40

"I attended my first auto race in July of 1947. It was a Sunday afternoon and it was the last day of the county fair. The dirt track had been groomed for the sulkey races on Saturday and that allowed the cars to come in on Sunday and totally destroy it with "modified" races in the afternoon and a demo derby that night. I remember that the admission charge was $0.75 for adults and $0.35 for kids under 16. Children under 6, accompanied by a parent or guardian were admitted free. Those words are chisled in my memory forever.

It's 67 years later now and we live in the 21st century. We are talking about race that morph their shape, run on electricity and even get their power from the track itself. We hear plenty of talk about changes to the tecnical rules and develment of the car but rarely hear any talk about development of the track in general, and the track surface in particular. Today's story from Dunlop mentioned imbeding the source of electricity used to power the cars in the track itself. So, maybe we will see more attention paid to the track from nos on.

For example, in todays world there should never be cause to red flag a race because of rain or standing water. The technology exists to effectively keep he track surface free of water to ths point where hydroplaining is a thing of the past. As long ago as 1997, I drove on a stretch of just such a road between Cardiff and Porthcawl. Then the top surface was composed of recycled and chopped up tires to permit the water to be collected by a drainage system below it. I could not hear or feel any difference between it and any other road. Today is 17 years later. Why is tanding water still a problem?

If we can develop equipment and systems to open and close the rear wing, that is, have the car respond directly to an input from outside the car, then why do we have flagging marshals standing near the track, well ... waving a flag. The track itself is capable, maybe even moreso than a man, of determining when a flag is needed. It can issue blue flag warnings itself, local yellows also, based on sensors in the track surface. That technology can be seen now on my androitpd tablet. Information is available now inside the driver's helmet and flagging information can easily be had inide the helmet instantaniously. The exception will always be the decision to issue a fed red flag but instantainious transmission is desirable. Even vfeen flag restarts can be better handled when the trak itself provides the information and makes the call.

The same idea goes for monitoring precise track position. "Did driver X leave enough room for driver Y?" By the we ask the question, the drivers have already been provided with the answer.

Looking into the future even farthed, I would like to see a track that can morph and alter itself during a race. Originally I was thinking about elevation changes especially in longer straights. But, why not change curves, esses, chacaines or even degrees ov banking. In effect, a race would change from a 4.5km race run 50 or 60 times, to a genuine 225 to 265 km race.

I see a heads up display on the driver's helmet face shield, electric wheel wrenches powered by the car itself and no more hoses or cables, cars that warm their own tires - if the tires even need to be warmed, in the pit surface sensors to prevent a dangerous release.

Finally, I would hope to see a genuine spending cap that can and will be enforced. Concurrent with the cap, I wouldlike to seea program of "grants" to be used specifially for "innovative high tech research and development.". All results of this research, and the ongoing research are to be made public ... open source if you will, ... with the researching team being given exclusive rights to the use of the result for a specified amount of time, maybe one season.

Finally, I sure do like the car that Dunlop developed. I especially like the encosed cockpit, enclosed rear wheels, 360 degree view (maybe to be viewed on the inside of the canopy?), but I remain opposed to having the car itself morph in reaction to changes in speed or any other condition. The exception would be any development that would prevent a car from becoming airborne.

For further views of F-1 in the future, keep your eyes on the LeMans Prototypes from Audi and Nisson. If either of them decide to come to F-1, ( It isn't likely, is it?) , we will have met the future for sure.

NotRocketSurgery
Bloomington, IN
JW"

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3. Posted by Paul C, 06/08/2014 20:03

"No Kimi, no Massa, no Maldonado, no problem. Wow, remote car control solves all of those annoying driver problems."

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4. Posted by nealio, 05/08/2014 21:28

"I experienced this future in the 1960s, it was called "slot cars.""

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5. Posted by ClarkwasGod, 05/08/2014 13:53

"Keep this where it belongs, on Playstation, or X-Box.
"

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6. Posted by nonickname, 05/08/2014 13:28

"Please God I am dead before this happens.
They are driving us to MotoGP and any formula that sounds and looks like a racing formula"

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7. Posted by oldestmike, 04/08/2014 16:03

"At 76 I probably won't be around to see all these changes come about, but, if I were I'd definitely not be watching. This wouldn't be the F1 that I've known for 60 years. You could definitely count me out."

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8. Posted by fredfrog, 04/08/2014 14:24

"Thank heavens I'll be long gone before this type of crap gets heaped on us ...!"

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9. Posted by Carugatese, 04/08/2014 7:48

"Simply, it will not be necessary to race."

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10. Posted by Steve W, 03/08/2014 16:16

"Interesting. With all this wonderful advanced technology, the styling looks like something from the 1930s...

"

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11. Posted by Topcat, 03/08/2014 11:13

"The ultimate in boring technology, may have road uses but this is not what the fans would want surely?"

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12. Posted by Jumpy Bob, 02/08/2014 23:20

"If in fact that all this new racing technology will come to be our future, I see a new racing series born..."

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13. Posted by MrShadow, 02/08/2014 19:52

"Fortunately about 80% of these ideas are already banned in current F1"

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14. Posted by BobW, 02/08/2014 16:33

"It sounds absolutely mind-numbing boring!"

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15. Posted by Hardliner, 02/08/2014 15:16

"...and why would they need a driver on board? Either no driver, or he sits in the International Space Station and does it all remotely....more idiotic ideas that we don't need."

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