Sep 7, 2019 update to the Chevrolet Corvette Z06 project car

Project Z06: The Sound of Speed, with RaceVoice

In-car data systems are becoming more affordable and more versatile than ever. Data systems can deliver copious amounts of performance information to drivers and teams via graphical and numerical analysis, allowing drivers to deconstruct their driving on a second-by-second basis: Something our project Z06 was in need of. 

But typically, this data analysis must be done after the fact. Some data systems can offer split time or lap time data in real-time during a session, but reading this data requires refocusing your vision from the track to a car-mounted screen. Not impossible, certainly, but not always realistic at the exact moment you may want the data.

The solution—developed by a company called RaceVoice—is to utilize another sensory input for critical data: Hearing. Rather than make your vision do triple duty reading the road, gauges, and data, RaceVoice leverages the relatively underutilized flappy things on the side of your head to provide audible feedback in the form of an easy to understand synthesized voice. Feedback parameters can be fine-tuned, using the accompanying software to program the system to announce data like lap times, segment times, corner entry speed, exit speed, apex speed, straightaway speeds, cornering g and more. Data from the OBDII system can even be fed to the RaceVoice unit and relayed to the driver for things like oil pressure warnings or engine temperature monitoring.

Best of all, all of these feedback parameters are completely customizable. You can allow the system to announce as much or as little data as you like, and even fine-tune the location on track where that data gets gathered and announced. The demo unit we used was interfaced with an AiM Solo II data unit, but other data systems are compatible with the friendly robot inside the magic RaceVoice box.

Our favorite configuration at our Daytona sessions was to have the system announce entry speeds, minimum speeds and exit speeds for a few key corners, as well as top speeds on the long straightaways. In a time trial situation this data was invaluable, as it would let us know if we hosed a corner early in a lap, thereby likely ruining the lap time. It allowed us to gauge progress during a hot lap without ever having to take our eyes off the road or the gauges. Basically, it was like having a copilot analyzing your data and providing feedback in real-time.

It didn’t take more than two laps to make us believers. As soon as we entered corners on lap 2 and heard our speeds announced in real-time, we were instantly able to make technique and line adjustments without having to pore over data during between-session downtime. The RaceVoice is a device that’s as useful as it is clever, which is a rare and precious combination.

RaceVoice systems start under $300, but we’d recommend the Pro configuration that starts around $600 (minus data system). We interfaced the system with the built-in speakers in our Roux helmet, but there’s plenty of options for interfacing the voice module with existing radio setups or using dedicated earbuds.

Need proof? Here’s a video that includes some RaceVoice audio from an SCCA Majors Race at Road Atlanta:

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300zxfreak
300zxfreak New Reader
8/14/19 7:46 p.m.

I don’t know about anyone else, but I found it very distracting having to sort out that “voice” from all the other voices in my head telling me to do nefarious things, some of them simultaneously. Besides, couldn’t they get a sexier voice than Werner Kemp ???  (Young’uns will have to look that one up)

Floating Doc
Floating Doc SuperDork
8/14/19 8:34 p.m.

Commercially available tinnitus! What will they think of next?

snelson
snelson None
8/15/19 8:53 a.m.

I've been using RaceVoice for over a year now in my race car and love it.  It's like having a coach riding shotgun.  Instant feedback on all of the little adjustments you make.

jstein77
jstein77 UberDork
8/20/19 12:50 p.m.
300zxfreak said:

..Besides, couldn’t they get a sexier voice than Werner Kemp ???  (Young’uns will have to look that one up)

Isn't that Klempler?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Werner_Klemperer

vwcorvette
vwcorvette UltraDork
8/20/19 8:29 p.m.

I spoke with the developers at NHMS a couple weeks ago. We discussed applicability to autocross. Anything that could get me up to speed sooner at an event would be great. Difficulty is distances are very short, but they felt something could be possible.

 

Anyone using the system that weekend had nothing but good things to say about it. You can have as much or as little info in your ear as you want.

 

They also said the number one question was regarding the voice. I suggested Jackie Stewart.

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