Airspeeder’s vision for the world’s first electric flying car racing series has the underlying potential to transform the way we move around cities, just as Formula One has driven innovation for the cars we use today.
While Aispeeder prepares for the next phase of racing, we’re proud to be part of their race crew supporting their new pilots by teaching them how to fly with the latest technology.
Introducing the new pilots and their Telstra Purple ‘tech crew’
“At heart I am a racer. I am joining Airspeeder to push the boundaries of motorsport and make history as the world’s first winning electric flying car racer. I’m honoured to be part of making history by developing this entirely new generation of motorsport,” said Emily Duggan – Racing Driver/Airspeeder Pilot
Emily has an extensive career as a successful and well-known Australian racing car driver. Known as the first female driver to race in the Australian V8 Touring Car Series, Emily has enjoyed much success on the track, scoring 12 wins, 33 podiums and 2 poles in her career. Emily is a hands-on developer of racing cars and regularly works on the mechanical elements of the machines she drives, but how does she go from driving a racing car to flying a speeder?
Insert Tyler Nielsen, Lead Consultant Design & Innovation at Telstra Purple, “I worked closely with Emily in transitioning her from on the ground behind the wheel to in the air behind an augmented heads-up display. The technology Telstra Purple is developing will do more than just visually show pilots what it will look and feel like. It’ll help them to learn how to make faster, safer and better decisions starting in the virtual world. No one has done anything like this before, so not only is it a big transition for Emily, but it’s also an exciting opportunity to tackle problems that previously we thought impossible.”
“Racing has always pushed the limits of what is possible for both humans and their creations. I’m excited to demonstrate, through the competitive environment created by Airspeeder racing, technology that will help shape a flying-car future personal transport for my son’s generation,” said Zephatali Walsh – RPAS Pilot/Airspeeder Pilot
Safety is a critical part of racing said Dom Raniszewski, Principal Consultant at Telstra Purple. He leads the team that develops a telemetry acquisition system that ships telemetry from speeders to the ground control station. The data is stored, processed and secured for the team to learn, develop and improve pilot and speeder safety.
“We help Zeph remain safe when he’s flying the speeder. We understand that we are building something completely innovative here, as we’re at the forefront of building a brand-new sport. Therefore, safety is the core value we follow when putting the solution together. We keep it in front of mind to ensure this fast-paced racing is still occurring in a very controlled environment, and we drive performance improvements by validating safe operations via real-time monitoring of speeders,” said Dom Raniszewski.
Real-time data capture requires optimisations at all layers and our solution must be fast, secure and portable enough to operate in various scenarios – ranging from bench-test factory labs to remote test locations with challenging environmental conditions like extreme temperatures. The telemetry feeds we gather directly drive improving Airspeeder design and performance.
“I’m an instinctive racer with and driven by my motto to ‘stop thinking and start flying’. Joining Airspeeder gives me the opportunity to make history in these incredible first flying car Grand Prix. I’m so happy to be part of a truly progressive step towards a long-promised flying car future,” said Fabio Tischler – FPV Pilot/Airspeeder Pilot.
When racing, the reaction time must be reduced to the absolute minimum, so ensuring ultra-low-latency feedback for the pilot is the key.
At 180km/h, it takes only a second to move 50 meters. So when multiple crafts are racing at that speed, a few meters from the ground and each other, there is a tiny timeframe allowance to get a clear picture back to the pilot, giving them enough time to react. So the latency performance targets to keep racing safe are extremely strict.
Our team developed a solution that captures the video remotely within these stringent requirements. The video feed from wireless transmitters is augmented with data from the telemetry system and almost instantly displayed to the pilot in the form of an Augmented Reality HUD.
“We are receiving thousands of data points per second for each one of the speeders. We take that data and merge it. That gives us the ability to see where everything is in the 3D space, to get an accurate picture of where the speeders are, how they’re performing, and how the pilot can get the most out of the speeder,” said Jotham Ritorze, Lead Consultant for Telstra Purple.
Our work with Airspeeder reinforces our team’s expertise and capabilities to drive transformative work that will help companies achieve innovative solutions to their problems.