MAY 15, 2008
How F1 can help in other worlds
In recent weeks there have been some interesting stories emerging about ways in which Formula 1 technologies and ideas are now being used for ideas outside the motorsport environment. One of the most dramatic ideas is the Caparo T1, a car that has just been given UK road-going status. This was designed by members of the same team who built the dramatic McLaren F1 road car. The T1 was inspired by F1 technologies and is intended to be an affordable street legal race car. These will retail for about $500,000 and the company pulled a great publicity coup a year ago by talking the London Metropolitan Police into allowing them to unveil a police variant of the T1, which they named the Rapid Response Vehicle (RRV). It is not expected that there will be any RRVs in production but that has not stopped the publicity for the car in its police colours.
The members of the Caparo project have all left McLaren but the company in Woking is now beginning to give details of a new subsidiary called McLaren Applied Technologies (MAT) which is using McLaren technology, thought processes and people to apply F1 ideas to businesses that have nothing to do with the sport, notably consumer goods, healthcare, software, sports technology, business consulting and even military vehicles. Working with the US Marine Corps, for example, McLaren has developed a seat system to protect soldiers from mine blasts; there was a healthcare monitoring project which needed a robust and secure method of wireless data transmission for patient data, McLaren and Vodafone worked together to develop that. The company has also used algorithms used during F1 races to create a new software platform to streamline business strategy and provide decision making tools and has also been involved in producing training tools which convert data into immersive environments. In the medical world McLaren has also developed a lightweight carbon leg brace with micro-hydraulics to precisely control a patient's knee after reconstructive surgery. In addition to all this the company is also offering due diligence and risk assessment for private equity and corporate investors seeking to invest in new technologies and start-ups.