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Metrology Software Has The Measure of F1 Compliance

During the recent F1 race-weekend in Montreal, Quebec local digital media platform La Presse reported on the role that Polyworks software has been performing in aiding the FIA to ensure compliance. We publish the transtlated version of the article below:

Translation from La Presse:

The International Automobile Federation (FIA), the watchdog of rule enforcement, has turned to a Quebec company, InnovMetric, to help ensure that all teams are indeed playing by the rules of the game. during F1 races.

The company co-founded in 1994 in Quebec by Marc Soucy and Esther Bouliane is therefore taking advantage of the presentation of the Canadian Grand Prix this weekend to come out of the shadows and detail the way in which its software solutions contribute, among other applications, to the safety and fairness in motor sport.

Thanks to the PolyWorks/Inspector platform, the spearhead of InnovMetric, the FIA ​​has taken a big step forward in verifying the compliance of cars this season.

“Previously, the FIA ​​carried out its checks using 2D templates to validate the aerodynamic shapes or limit gauges to assess the dimensions to be respected”, explains Jean-Sébastien Blais, engineer and expert in the deployment of the enterprise solution at InnovMetric. “Although simple to use, these methods are expensive to maintain and must be redone each time a specification change occurs.”

“Using our software, all you need is a laptop, a small suitcase that contains a laser tracker and a person who can do the inspection on their own. It provides a printable inspection report available immediately after taking the measurement.”

In concrete terms, the software makes it possible to measure in three dimensions predetermined points of the single-seater. An operator positions a spherical reflector on precise points which are picked up by a laser tracker. These measurements are then sent in real time to the database and compared to a model or digital twin of the car.

“It’s almost like an architect who would have made a plan and, once the building is finished, someone pulls out their braid to take the measurements to check if it is in conformity with the digital plan”, illustrates Mr. Blais.

This tool allows a very appreciable saving of time since the FIA ​​has only five minutes to inspect each car before or after a race.

Recognized Technology

It is no coincidence that the FIA ​​turned to InnovMetric and its software platform to ensure the compliance of vehicles on circuits all over the planet. It’s been a long time since most F1 teams have adopted this universal measurement application from the Quebec company.

“All major automakers use our software in the manufacture of their production vehicles,” says Mr. Blais. “And by mastering this technology, when they have a racing team like Ferrari, they can apply it in different ways.”

“The FIA ​​realized that to be effective, they needed this kind of technology and we are happy to work with them.”

When a customer like the FIA ​​buys the software, he becomes a user of the license for an indefinite period and, as with all other software, updates are available every year. Through its network of subsidiaries, InnovMetric’s application specialists are able to provide on-the-spot technical support.

The technology of the PolyWorks/Inspector platform also offers the possibility of rechecking the recorded data at any time in the event of a dispute.

“For example, if we disputed the ground clearance of a car six months after a Grand Prix, as we have an exact representation of the vehicle at the time of the race, it would be possible to return to take the measurements and establish findings.“, noted Mr. Blais.

If the FIA ​​wished, this technology could even be used to determine if the layout of the circuits is suitable for the cars.

“PolyWorks is already used on road accident scenes. You can do a complete scan of an area and establish the braking distance and make sure nothing has been tampered with.”

“Could we apply it for a circuit? Of course, the technology is ready for that from a software perspective. But I don’t know that the FIA ​​would like to go in this direction.”

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