"Realism of digital twins has improved massively" - Jaguar & TCS hope for Formula E success through new cloud platform
The British Formula E team Jaguar TCS Racing and its title sponsor Tata Consultancy Services have launched a new cloud-based platform for data analysis and software around the Berlin E-Prix. Using a "digital twin" of the Jaguar I-Type 6 race car, the team aims to exploit even more potential while gaining insights for the world away from the track.
It is well known that data analysis plays a crucial role in the electric series. "In Formula E, access to data is particularly time-critical," says Jaguar team principal James Barclay. "Formula E's compressed weekend format often leaves us with just 45 minutes to gain performance insights and adjust race strategy between sessions." That's why Jaguar has partnered with TCS, the world's second-largest IT and technology consulting firm, to leverage cloud computing and Digital Twin technology.
During a race weekend, Jaguar collects around three terabytes of data. This is analyzed and incorporated into the vehicle setup. Hosting the data in the new cloud environment based on Amazon Web Service (AWS) gives the team's engineers and strategists at the track and at the Jaguar factory time to test and optimize different setups for the car.
Digital twins - images of physical products - today also play an important role for Jaguar in race preparation and strategy. Twin simulations enable reliable testing, analysis and validation that can be transferred from the virtual world to the real car. This can not only save time, but also money.
"Battery management is an important factor in race strategy"
"The realism of digital twins has improved massively through the use of cloud technology," explains Kay Müller-Jones, Head of Consulting and Services Integration at TCS, in an exclusive interview with 'e-Formula.news'. "It's not just about a 3D model, it's about all interactions with the environment."
During a Formula E session, countless components on the vehicle collect data - from acceleration phases over braking pressure to wheelspin on a wet track. "The car itself is partly made up of highly complex software that runs through completely different scenarios. Battery management is also an important factor in race strategy," Müller-Jones tells us.
According to TCS, the importance of digital twins continues to grow. "Especially as digital technology and regulations evolve in the new Gen3 era of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship, and the technical challenges become even more complex," according to a company statement.
Formula E cars & human organs
TCS has provided technological support to Jaguar Land Rover for more than a decade to advance the development of electric vehicles. The 2022 Formula E season saw an expansion of that partnership when TCS became the Jaguar team's official technology and title partner.
One reason: Formula E creates an "ideal" test environment for digital TCS technologies in the real world. "All this information is also being transferred to automotive production. With a Digital Twin, you learn a lot over time - about discharge capacities or optimizations, for example - and you can push the limits," explains Müller-Jones.
However, the Digital Twin is not limited to the field of manufacturing. "For example, it can also be used to map human organs in order to test the supposed effects of drugs. Or to optimize complex supply chains, for example. That's why this topic is so important," Müller-Jones says.
Whether the Digital Twin can help Jaguar to its first championship title this year will become clear in the next two months. Currently, the team is in top form and in third place in the world championship, just 26 points behind leader Envision Racing - with seven races to go. The next E-Prix starts on June 3 and 4 in Indonesia. A year ago, Jaguar driver Mitch Evans stood at the top of the podium after the Jakarta debut race.