Tag Archives: Alessandro Sarcina

Innovation Chat with Vicente Pechuan Vilar, Engineering Specialist at Magneti Marelli Motorsport

The future of Motorsport? Very difficult to guess it. For this reason, after the interviews to LapTime Club 2014 Innovators Alessandro Sarcina and Cristian Cascetta, we decided to introduce Vicente Pechuan Vilar, Engineering Specialist at Magneti Marelli Motorsport.

Besides his daily professional job, Vicente is also one of Magneti Marelli LapTime Club community engagers, and recently published some interested ideas inside the community. Read his community profile here, and enjoy this new Innovation Chat!

SEE ALSO: Innovation Chat with Cristian, Top Innovator and Winner of LapTime Club 2014

Hello Vicente, and welcome. In your personal opinion, does the motorsport future belong to connected cars?

First of all, I wanted to thank the LapTime Club for allowing me to express my ideas in such an open environment. I’d also like to make use of the opportunity to thank everybody who is contributing to this flow by voting and, most of all, by expressing their opinions. Furthermore, remember that most of times the ideas from people outside of the motorsport environment are usually the fresher, most clean from preconceptions and vices. All opinions are welcome!

So coming to us, does the motorsport future belong to connected cars? Well I guess that depends on… connected to what? If you mean to the internet or to some kind of big, public database, I don’t think so. When talking about motorsport, information is key to success, so teams seldom share data, it’s like gold for them. For this reason, data will always be a secret, in my opinion.

On the other hand, if we are talking about vehicles connected between themselves and all this info being monitored by race control, that would be definitely a yes! And not only motorsport, I think one day all road vehicles will be interconnected and, somehow, they will all know what vehicles around them are doing. But coming back to our sports environment, I believe there are still some concepts to exploit: if a car has a mechanical problem, why not to show it not only to the rider, but also to the riders behind him? If race control wants to give an urgent message to all drivers, why not to do it, simultaneously, to all of them? Or to the team? And how?

And to end with it, think about it: when I worked and lived away from races, I imagined all teams had, inside their box, a set of monitors where they could see what their riders were doing, real time. Nothing further from reality… when I came to MotoGP and finally worked with teams inside their boxes, my eyes were fully opened when I saw that, during the races, the only way they have to know what their riders are doing, is through TV broadcast! So, if you are not Marquez or Rossi, meaning that your rider never appears in TV, you are looking all the time at monitors that tell you partial times in current lap and show a yellow dot if he’s doing his pest partial. That’s all, for all the race! Come on, in the 21st century still with this? So as you can imagine, there’s still a long way to go.

Actually the matter will not be if they will be connected, but what data will be shared and how.

SEE ALSO: Innovation Chat with Alessandro, one of the 2014 LapTime Club Winners

Wearable in motorsport: which innovative product development do you foresee in the near future?

I must confess, I love science fiction… since I was very young, so I feel very familiar and consider almost-normal some of the things I’ve “grown with”, watching on TV and films. You know what I’m talking about… Star Trek, Iron Man… you can see them wearing very cool accessories! And I’d love today’s riders/drivers to wear them. And they’d also be useful.

  • Health sensors all around the body, to help medical control to know the status of all riders, all the time. Also, for TV purposes and rider knowledge himself.
  • Accelerometers, to engage safety hardware, like specific airbags or other car/bike safeties.
  • Small monitors worn in the wrist of the mechanics, each of them showing specific data for specific purposes.
  • Head Up Display (HUD). This one I particularly love. I can’t wait, and I believe it’s a matter of time, to see bike information displayed in the visor of helmets. This could help a lot safety and improve information visualization and reaction times.
  • Mini cameras. All around the bike and the body of the rider, to be used by TV or team’s purposes, to monitor situation in 360 degrees.

Which innovative solutions and best practices related to infotainment but useful for the motorsport industry could you imagine?

I have always intended infotainment as a better, easier and “more advance” way of displaying information to the user and interacting with it. Actually, infotainment mixes information and entertainment. It’s like curved-3D TV in opposition to old style, black and white TVs.

We have come a long way in this sense, info is showed in much nicer, powerful and easier to understand modes. The thing with motorsport in particular, is that there is a huge amount of information to be analyzed, and displaying it in the best of the ways is not always easy. Besides, it requires a lot of effort from the user, in order to create the appropriate layouts, which in the other hand renders it much more personal and narrowed upon single needs.

Some of the solutions I’m sure will come sooner rather than later we’ve discussed above. For example, the HUD, Head Up Display, already used from decades in the jet fighter industry, and in use in some road cars such as some BMWs, Peugeots… for me, it’s a huge step in information displaying to the user. In this case, the user being the rider/driver. For the technical staff, I can already imagine touch-screen monitors, mouse that can handle the computer pointer without the need of a solid surface (so, basically, having your hand in the air), small tablets to easily show the rider the info he’s usually most interested at, computers that send voice commands and information to the user, and user that can respond, data transfer through ultra-fast wifi, so cables will be needed only as a backup… without forgetting phasers and plasma torpedoes! :P

What about the application of telemetry tools – such as Magneti Marelli WinTAX – to other non-motorsport sports?

We, motorsport  workers and co-workers, tend to be very proud of ourselves, to believe we are working in an environment that’s actually the pinnacle of performance and speed. We tend to forget that competition itself means the search for perfection and defeating your opponent (with best practices and always friendly approach, that’s for sure), and competition is vast and wide, and goes much, much beyond motorsport, right? Let’s think about a couple of non-motorsport sports, and think how tools like WinTAX could help.

  • Biking. I can’t imagine any other sport that puts so much physical stress into the sportsman. Yet, even without mechanical engines, it’s so focused on speed and performance. I can imagine everybody willing to have situation continuously monitored in real time, speed, strokes per minute, oxygen consumption, calories, position on GPS, distance to a particular rider… for road biking and mountain biking!
  • Marathon. Same here, very focused, in this case, on health parameters. I guess all professional long distance runners would love to see nice data from their performance, and it would help them and medical experts to exploit human capacity to further limits. Also for rush races! Like Usain Bolt and company.
  • Triathlon, Decathlon… sensorizing bike and shoes, and putting a GPS to all riders, in order to see where they’re strong and where they’re not, compared to their best performances and to others.
  • Swimming, skiing, America’s Cup

In the end, it’s about imagining which sensors and which data would make for each particular sport, and being able to analyze data with WintaxPossibilities are endless!

Thank you Vicente for your ideas, insights and suggestions. See you and keep in touch on Magneti Marelli LapTime Club! #LapTimeClub

Innovation Chat with Alessandro, one of the 2014 LapTime Club Winners

As one of the winners of the first phase of the LapTime Club project, Alessandro proposed a breakthrough idea about integrating data collection with the Google Glass technology.

SEE ALSO: Alessandro Sarcina: my Laptime Club idea? Integrating Google Glass and Data Collection

Like any innovator, he has the ability to truly think outside of imposed boundaries and deliver creative solutions to different kinds of problems. Recently he has participated in the Intel hackathon dedicated to Internet of Things (IoT) and together with his team won the first prize, proposing an innovative solution to a common everyday issue.

Innovation often comes from having a wide-ranging vision and unconventional approach. It seems to be linked less with the expertise and more with how one’s mind can think about details while still focusing on the bigger picture and with the ability to put together a wild idea and the reality.

Discover through the following interview more about Alessandro’s recent project, his approach to innovation and his method for creative problem solving:

HELLO ALESSANDRO, IN CONNECTION WITH YOUR RECENT VICTORY OF THE INTEL HACKATHON, WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THE FUTURE OF INTERNET OF THINGS AND ITS APPLICABILITY IN DIFFERENT INDUSTRIES? 

I’ve been hearing of IoT for many years, mainly in the academic environment. Nowadays the technology is offering attractive solutions to many issues related to this topic, however there are still many relevant questions that remain open, such as security, energy consumption and communication standards. The ambition to connect multiple objects to the Internet must surely lead us to rethink the way we live and interact with the outside world, managing increasing number of available information.

What personally fascinate me about this area are the infinite potential implementation possibilities and the ubiquity of the issue. As a matter of fact, it could really revolutionize everyday life but especially bring significant contributions into business areas that could benefit in terms of efficiency and cost reduction of some business processes.

COULD YOU TELL US WHAT IS YOUR TYPICAL APPROACH TO THE INNOVATION PROCESS? 

In this last experience, the innovative process started from the creation of the group and from the passion for the topic. Immediately after we decided to begin with daily needs and look for solutions to everyday problems. One of these was our project Trashly – a solution to the garbage and recycling collection of household waste.

Trashly 3

Trashly is a system that is activated as soon as the user approaches the recycling bins, a photo of the object to be recycled is taken and a third-party cloud service identifies the content of the image. At this point the system, on the basis of the information received, determines the type of object to recycle and opens the correct bin.

Once the problem is identified, you can design the solution starting from the expertise of each team member, the tools available and especially considering the time constraints. The final approach is to be evaluated in front of the real problem and its criticalities. The most important thing should be changing the perspective from “I stop here because I don’t know how to proceed” to “Let’s see how we can move forward”.

DO YOU HAVE YOUR OWN WAY OF CREATIVE PROBLEM SOLVING?

I don’t think it’s a personal approach, I believe however, that it is necessary to have your mind open in order to solve problems by using less conventional tools and methods.

TELL US ABOUT 3 KINDS OF PEOPLE YOU PREFER TO WORK WITH.

In this kind of projects it is preferable to work with people who have great technical skills, but also knowledge of different fields and industries. It is always important to have a motivated team.

WHAT ARE THE 3 FUNDAMENTAL THINGS THAT YOU ALWAYS PUT IN YOUR ‘INNOVATION TOOLKIT’?

There are three things that are absolutely intangible. The first and most important one is passion. There should be also curiosity and desire to learn, and finally the excitement and adrenaline of doing something new.

WHAT ARE YOUR NEXT PROJECTS LINKED TO THE INNOVATION?

We will see…:)

THANK YOU ALESSANDRO FOR SHARING WITH US YOUR EXPERIENCE; SEE YOU SOON IN LAPTIME CLUB!

LapTime Club Year in Review: re-live the 2014 final event highlights

laptime_club_4

December will be remembered and “archived” as an important month for Magneti Marelli’s 2014 always-on research of new innovation roads.

As a matter of fact, after the organization of the first LapTime Club.zip Hackathon in collaboration with The FabLab Milan, the 2014 LapTime Club final event took place the 16th December in Corbetta, Milan. The two Idea Thinkers Cristian Cascetta and Alessandro Sarcina met Magneti Marelli CEO Eugenio Razelli, together with Magneti Marelli Motorsport CEO Roberto Dalla and the company team of Managers & Tech Specialists.

SEE ALSO: Cristian Cascetta: how to use WinTAX to support and enforce rapid decision making while “making sense” of data?

The event has been a great occasion to discover the winning ideas more in-depth, walk through Magneti Marelli Museum and underline the importance for the Motorsport Industry of adopting an open innovation approach.

Experience the photo gallery below, re-live the 2014 LapTimeClub final event highlights through visual contents.

And if 2014 has been an important year, 2015 will be fundamental: LapTime Club has become an always-on Motorsport online laboratory designed to co-generate new ideas in the field of telemetry, electromagnetic and electronic systems, with a specific focus on data and performance analytics. Infotainment, Induction Power Transfer, V2I, Internet of Things, engine efficiency and WinTAX: do not miss the opportunity to publish, share and “enrich” your best ideas across different technical topics.

Take the challenge to be a Motorsport Race Engineer!

Alessandro Sarcina: my LapTime Club Idea? Integrating Google Glass and data collection

After the final selection of LapTime Club’s most innovative ideas - out of the top 7 – and the Top Innovator, it is now time to directly listen to the two winning thinkers‘ voices, in order to better understand their ideas and discover a little more about them.

The first winning idea came from Alessandro Sarcina, who proposed the following suggestion linked to the challenge How internet of things (IOT) could be re-imagined and exploited in the Automotive Industry and racing?.

“I have noticed that Magneti Marelli Motorsport lets developers use WinTAX4’s APIs in order to read and analyze data in real time. It could be useful to design and build a Google Glass app able to collect all these data and information: the tool would be exploited to increase the performances of a wide range of stakeholders, from mechanics to automobile drivers.”

Are you curious to know how to integrate Google Glass and data collection? Do not miss the interview focused on Alessandro’s experience, dreams and great passion for the world of innovation.

SEE ALSO: Cristian Cascetta: how to use WinTAX to support and enforce rapid decision making while “making sense” of data?

HELLO ALESSANDRO, NICE TO MEET YOU. CAN YOU SUMMARIZE YOUR WINNING IDEA IN A FEW WORDS?

Hi everyone and thank you very much for this interview! I will try to summarize in a few words the idea I have proposed in the LapTime Club community: I imagined the possibility to integrate a great amount of available data through the use of the WinTAX software in a system able to distribute such information in a new way. Through the Android application for Google Glass that graphically shows the telemetry data in real-time, users can follow the race in an “enriched”, engaging reality. The typology and quantity of data could be modified coherently with needs of different user typologies, whether enthusiasts following the race from the bleachers or technicians working in the boxes.

WHERE DID YOU GET INSPIRATION FROM?

I have been inspired by my job as Computer Engineer, but most of all by the ambitious and highly technological project that I am experiencing with LifePage, a start-up which I co-founded and that will go to market soon.
Our application allows to release all your daily conversations coming from multiple devices and services such as Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Skype and many others, organized in a digital (but printable) diary full of multimedia contents. In this way, different conversations coming from different message applications are integrated in a new, coherent and “enriched” timeline.

ARE YOU FAMILIAR WITH MAGNETI MARELLI WINTAX AND DATA SIMULATION TOOLS?

Although I am not familiar with WinTAX usage, LifePage makes me feel strongly connected to the technological innovation from an applicable point of view. Of course, this does not imply that in the near future a new project fully dedicated to WinTAX will not be possible.

WHAT IS YOUR OPINION ABOUT MAGNETI MARELLI LAPTIME CLUB AND ITS OPEN INNOVATION APPROACH?

Regarding the LapTime Club, I think it is important that global companies like Magneti Marelli design and manage such open innovation projects with an always-on approach. Thanks to those projects, they can keep updated about fresh and creative insights from different industries, thus discovering the opinion of international smart thinkers, tech specialists and opinion leaders. To sum up, I would really like to thank again Magneti Marelli and the LapTime Club team for this great opportunity.

Keep on following LapTime Club to learn in the next few days about the second winning idea and its author – Cristian Cascetta – who won also the title of the Top Innovator. And do not forget to register to and start contributing with your best ideas to the community!

Which Motorsport Ideas will Join the LapTime Club Olympus?

After months of proposing, voting and commenting ideas on the LapTime Club community (currently composed by more than 500 Members), the two winning ones are finally known!

Last weekend the Magneti Marelli experts came to a decision and selected the two most innovative ideas - out of the top 7 – and the Top Innovator. Which ones triumphed and who are the LapTime Club Members behind them? You are about to find it!

SEE ALSO: From 20 to 7 ideas: who will be the first LapTime Club Innovator?

GOOGLE GLASS AND WINTAX4′S API

The first winning idea came from Alessandro Sarcina, a young startupper who proposed the following idea corresponding to the challenge How internet of things (IOT) could be re-imagined and exploited in the Automotive Industry and racing?.

“I have noticed that Magneti Marelli Motorsport lets developers use WinTAX4’s APIs in order to read and analyze data in real time. It could be useful to design and build a Google Glass app able to collect all these data and information: the tool would be exploited to increase the performances of a wide range of stakeholders, from mechanics to automobile drivers. What do you think about it?”

SUPPORT AND ENFORCE RAPID DECISION-MAKING AND HELP TECHNICIANS “MAKING SENSE” OF DATA

The other winner was Cristian Cascetta, who has been rewarded with the title of Top Innovator thanks to his active partecipation to the community and high number of votes he received on his idea relating to the challenge How could WinTAX improve team collaboration?”. Read more about his idea below!

“In the heat of the race, the only connection between the real-time data stream of telemetry and the technical knowledge about the vehicle is in the head of race technicians.
Decision-making is based on the capability of race tecnician of “making sense” of the real-time data, based on his personal knowledge of the vehicle as a system and as the sum of every single component.
I propose to create a knowledge management system capable of “digesting “all the technical documentation of every single component of the vehicle – third party components tech specs, manuals, annotations coming from technical meetings with the different suppliers – and the technical documentation – including cad drawings, race and test debriefing documents, etc. – created inside the team. Also the race rules and regulations will be part of the knowledge base.
All this massive corpus of information will be immediately searchable and will work as a memory extension for race techicians to support and enforce the rapid decision making… But more interestingly the computer will be able to anticipate the technician questions and queries to the knowledge base presenting in real time a list of link to relevant techincal docs and information based on the actual race context.” Read more…

YOU ARE THE CHAMPIONS

The LapTime Club team would like to thank all the community Members and the final winners for having shared their innovative ideas with all Motorsport fans. In a few days, they will be contacted in order to organize the final awards ceremony.

What is your opinion about the winning ideas? Keep on following the LapTime Club: in a few days new challenges will be launched! Are you ready to try again to become a Motorsport Innovator?