McLaren Applied Technologies

Formula 1 is constantly changing and evolving, even during the course of a grand prix. On every lap of every race, practice session or test, our cars produce vast quantities of data. To gather, transmit and process that data in real time, so that we can make potentially race-winning decisions, we have developed sophisticated tools which have far-reaching uses.

We use our advanced simulation and monitoring techniques not only to prepare for a race – running through potential scenarios to arrive at an ideal strategy – but also to refine and optimise that strategy in real time, in the heat of competition, monitoring the location, position and speed of every car on the circuit. Sophistication does not necessarily equate to complexity, though; our tools present that data in a form that is simple for the human operator to assimilate and use to take action.  These tools form the basis of Decision Insight – McLaren’s latest software platform for real time, predictive decision support.

A project for the National Air Traffic Control Service (NATS) and Heathrow Airport is just one example of how our technology, can deliver real benefits away from the race track. With many of the world’s biggest airports running close to capacity, incoming flights spend an average of 20 minutes in a holding pattern, often accounting for as much as 30 per cent of an airport’s CO2 emissions. And that figure is almost matched by planes taxiing on the ground.

We used the Decision Insight platform to develop a system which enables controllers to optimise the flow of air and ground traffic: from the optimum approach pattern to the fastest journey to the right gate, delivering and picking up passengers and then departing as quickly as possible. Our solution improves the customer experience by reducing delays, reduces emissions through greater efficiency, and benefits airlines because fewer hours of each engine’s duty cycle is wasted between services.

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