World Rallycross Championship seeks motorsport first with Vodafone partnership

The World Rallycross Championship has partnered with the automotive division of telecommunications firm Vodafone to undertake a trial of a platform that it claims will aim to make it the first fully connected series under the International Automobile Federation (FIA) banner.

World RX promoter, the IMG agency, said it is undertaking a technical trial of Machine-to-Machine (M2M) in-car connectivity with Vodafone. The trial, which will run to the end of the current 2015 season, will see Vodafone’s automotive services being used within the Mini Supercars of the JRM Racing team.

It will provide data on a number of key elements of the cars’ performance such as acceleration, braking forces and collision analysis. Ultimately the new data aims to enable greater detailed race analysis for television coverage and also provide quick and accurate crash reconstruction simulations for informing stewards’ enquiries. The goal is for the technology developed to be rolled out across all the World RX Supercar teams for the 2016 season.

Paul Bellamy, World RX managing director for IMG, said: “Vodafone is pioneering in telematics technology and World RX can offer a unique platform to develop and test future automotive technologies in conjunction with a number of vehicle manufacturers.

“As for World RX, we are delighted to be involved in the growth of the connected car market, which will benefit not only the teams and regulations within the sport, but also our fans who will have access to unique data for the first time. We look forward to exploring ways of incorporating some of Vodafone’s vast range of technologies into World RX and working with the market leader in the development of connected car technology.”

The application of connected car technology is expanding rapidly and is expected to grow exponentially in the next five years, with an estimated 250 million connected cars on the road by 2020.