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Video: Stanford Wires Up Vintage Sports Cars, For Science!

Submitted by on June 14, 2012

Stanford Wires Up Vintage Sports Cars

“We are really studying in one way, the interrelationship between man and the automobile..”

There’s a lot of truly brilliant science that goes into making cars ‘wot go fast, but driving itself is a very touchy feely thing for most of us, especially when it comes to classic cars and even more so with racing cars.

“At the second a car is doing something, what is the driver doing and feeling?”

Professional drivers often have a lot of data available to them about their inputs and outputs around a lap, but at all but the very highest echelons of driving it’s a lot more about your fingers, feet and derriere, what they’re telling you about what your car is up to and how it all interfaces with your brain, experience and instinct.

“And if we can integrate all that, we’ll really understand what a car and driver are as a team.”

Researchers from Stanford have begun a project in which they wire up classic sports and racing cars with instruments to measure things like GPS location, ride-height, suspension and inertia, along with the driver’s biological responses; sweat, temperature and heart rate. They then let car and driver loose on a racing circuit and collect data about their expeditions.

The goal of their research is to explore the secrets of vintage sports and racing cars, understand the relationship between car and driver in high-performance situations and eventually build technology that will end up in cars of the future.

This video takes a look at what they’re up to and how they’re doing it, and features a lovely collection of historic racers enjoying a romp around Laguna Seca. Very interesting stuff!

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