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vtjballeng

Flagtronics in car race flagging system

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The only way I see this becoming a mandatory spec part would be if the series goes to these for managing pit stops.   I believe these will be a option for teams, not a requirement.   Just my opinion.  Everyone can calm down about having to spend $100 2 years from now maybe. 

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21 minutes ago, Eman911 said:

For those of you who believe that I am anti safety, let me assure you nothing could be further from the truth. Safety has been my profession for the last 17 years. The point I am trying to make is that we are at the point of diminishing returns. For example would you be willing to pay the salary of a crossing guard at every controlled intersection you cross while walking to work? After all people get run over crossing the street all the time. Another thing to consider is removing the driver from his responsibilities by applying technology. Have you ever encountered that guy who has no clue what way to go when his GPS enabled cellphone dies? I still carry paper maps and use them quite a bit. How about younger folks who have never driven a car without ABS  and traction control? How well will they be able to really know how to drive at the limit when the limit is determined by a computer? The law of unintended consequences then rears its ugly head when the ABS fails and the driver has never practiced an emergency stop without them. To carry my argument to the absurd, why not mandate self driving cars, after all they are safer right?


Speaking as a racer rather than the developer here, I don't feel this represents diminishing returns. I've been on track with a dangerous AF car/driver that was unresponsive to black flag more than once. I've been hit passing an unaware driver locked in battle with a car ahead of him after showing myself extensively in every mirror available where a blue flag would have helped us both. I've been at races where we had collective "Come to Jesus" meetings where drivers and crews could have been collectively messaged before reaching that point. I've  been on track with new drivers who are barely able to handle driving, let alone keep 100% efficacy in flag stand observation. I'm personally less than 100% effective in my observation of every single flag stand around the track every single lap, especially at the more grueling endurance races. I think if we're all honest with ourselves, nearly all of us are less than 100% effective 100% of the time in every possible condition. I could continue to enumerate personal examples but I think it's easy to make the case that this technology represents a high safety return on investment.

The corner work who passed away at Laguna Seca this year might still be alive had drivers gotten an earlier warning. Some of the wrecks @morganf pointed out might have been avoidable. This is a system racers and organizers have been asking for in these forums and elsewhere for a long time, especially after incidents that highlight inefficiencies in the current methodology.

As a racer, I desperately want to know if there is a car stopped in the middle of the track between flag stands. Especially in the case of low visibility racing, one of my fears are impact dangers between stands at night or heavy fog.

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Devil's advocate again, if a driver is inattentive to yellow flag, it stands to reason he will probably be inattentive to a blinking light, or worse might possibly take his eyes off of the cars and track ahead to look at the blinky light.

 

Again I salute your efforts but I feel ChumpCar should put more focus on properly trained drivers.

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6 minutes ago, Eman911 said:

Devil's advocate again, if a driver is inattentive to yellow flag, it stands to reason he will probably be inattentive to a blinking light, or worse might possibly take his eyes off of the cars and track ahead to look at the blinky light.

 

Again I salute your efforts but I feel ChumpCar should put more focus on properly trained drivers.


This works in concurrence with properly training drivers and helps greatly in that specific task. Display should be mounted in line of sight. This is a driver aid that assists driver flag diligence (among other things). 

We had discussed, jokingly, a private bits shocker for racers to REALLY get their attention. A common thread among detractors seems to be a request for this "feature." If you really want this option, we can provide it ;) .

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22 minutes ago, vtjballeng said:


We had discussed, jokingly, a private bits shocker for racers to REALLY get their attention. A common thread among detractors seems to be a request for this "feature." If you really want this option, we can provide it ;) . 

 

I would go along with a mandate for this IFI could trigger it from in my car.

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I understand that everyone hates paying more money and a lot of people are being devil’a advocate just to learn capabilities of this device but for my team, I think this would be great. This year I have raced three times, at three tracks I’ve never raced at, with many flag stands in many different locations. For the first 30 minutes I am trying to understand the layout, car conditions, keeping an eye out for other cars, and so much more. I try to look at all the flag stands but I’m human. I think I might have passed under yellow once or twice at Barber in the rain since I was so focused on not crashing the car. 

 

As for the responses saying drivers will ignore the light, come on. Give racers some credit. If I can focus on my driving line without having to squint at flag stands and have a light in my peripheral view, I don’t see my issues. If a driver is going to ignore the light, he’s going to ignore the flag. Just my 2 cents 

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I drove at Road Atlanta for the first time this year and the ability to see yellow flags at several stations was horrendous...especially turn 1.  I drove my first 24hr at VIR this year and the night-time flags were near impossible to see until we were right on top of the stand.  For $100 I would buy this in an instant to help all cars I am driving against know the track condition at the same time.  Being able to see this and then verify at the stand give us all a few extra seconds before barreling into a situation.  I had the opportunity to run this system in the 8's of VIR and it was brilliant.  Driver aides are worth their weight in gold for us amateur drivers.

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My fear about this is that drivers become too reliant and then tend to ignore flag stations and put too much faith in this system. As we all know, electronics can break and go wrong, and they will regardless of how 'mature' this product is. Then we've negated our safety enhancement and actually made it a detriment.

In addition, for how simple these devices probably are (base unit is probably not much more than a long range radio, light/display and simple microcontroller), i'm guessing the $99  will likely somehow be passed onto racers. 

as long as this isn't converted 'subscription' type system once everyone has one... I'm pretty sour at AMB for that.

Edited by Slugworks Paul
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On 12/18/2018 at 6:35 AM, JDChristianson said:

I said maybe.   I don't really want to spend 100 bucks for something to tell me when there is a full course yellow.  I still have to watch the flag stands, right?    

Help me out with something more than "it was so wonderful that I danced in the streets"    Does it tell me about local yellows, standing local yellows, waving local yellow, ev on track.  Does it go  back to green after I've passed the incident.    Who pushes the button, the corner worker?  race control?  After the flag is waving and it gets called in?  I saw some video with it in a car, I guess it was ok once you've trained yourself to look at it all the time.  

 

If it stays optional and not something that every team has to buy, I'm all for it.  Our team could even end up with one, who knows.  

 As I said, I'm not sure that it will work for "Sector" awareness...that will require a lot more work by people stationed at the corners....so that answers MANY of your questions.   It is best for FULL course conditions, and trust me, you don't need to stare at it...it is plenty bright that a change from one flag to another will alert you.     Maybe they can do something to alert you that there is a standing yellow at SOME corner??  

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A common thread we've seen in some of the announcement feedback is a request for situations in which in car flagging is helpful. Perhaps this will help some.

 

There are many other scenarios not outlined here specifically. Maybe there are other scenarios you can think of?

 

Fills in coverage holes between flag stations

 

Gets dangerous cars who are unresponsive to black flags off track

 

Improve all drivers flag observation percentage

 

Helps first time novice drivers (lemons/champcar/hpde/etc) avoid wrecks

 

Allows messages to dangerous drivers red misting around track

 

Greatly improves night flagging

 

Greatly improves low visibility flagging in conditions like fog or heavy rain

 

Allows flagging when drivers line of sight to flag stand is obscured

 

Capable of notifying race control of a stopped car or wreck

 

Gives team flag information in the pits for improved strategy & safety

 

Capable of providing blue flag to improve safety passing

 

Pit Timer capability

 

Pit speed Warning

 

Emergency services may be dispatched to accident

 

Tow truck may be dispatched to disabled vehicle

 

Purple Flag speed warning (VIR 35 as example)

 

Color Blind supplementation as many color blind drivers can't distinguish existing flags

 

Avoid Black Flag confusion where multiple cars pit for the Black flag event of one car

Edited by vtjballeng
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14 hours ago, vtjballeng said:

A common thread we've seen in some of the announcement feedback is a request for situations in which in car flagging is helpful. Perhaps this will help some.

 

There are many other scenarios not outlined here specifically. Maybe there are other scenarios you can think of?

 

Fills in coverage holes between flag stations

 

Gets dangerous cars who are unresponsive to black flags off track

 

Improve all drivers flag observation percentage

 

Helps first time novice drivers (lemons/champcar/hpde/etc) avoid wrecks

 

Allows messages to dangerous drivers red misting around track

 

Greatly improves night flagging

 

Greatly improves low visibility flagging in conditions like fog or heavy rain

 

Allows flagging when drivers line of sight to flag stand is obscured

 

Capable of notifying race control of a stopped car or wreck

 

Gives team flag information in the pits for improved strategy & safety

 

Capable of providing blue flag to improve safety passing

 

Pit Timer capability

 

Pit speed Warning

 

Emergency services may be dispatched to accident

 

Tow truck may be dispatched to disabled vehicle

 

Purple Flag speed warning (VIR 35 as example)

 

Color Blind supplementation as many color blind drivers can't distinguish existing flags

 

Avoid Black Flag confusion where multiple cars pit for the Black flag event of one car

 

All these are good (some very good), and I think locals are the end goal as well, but understand that may not make it into early releases.

 

IF locals are not included, I think finding a way (lighting up only three non adjacent vertical LED columns or ... an LY on the display or ...)  to indicate that there is a local yellow deployed somewhere on track would be of significant value. Agree with earlier poster that it will NOT be accepted as an excuse if people PUY to show video of the light not being on... it does not replace the flag stands, just helps communicate _in addition to_ flag stations. Managing expections on this point should be a big part of the rollout IMO. I will gladly pay $100 to get a 1% improvement in potential to avoid crashes into a disabled vehicle or another racer avoiding same.

 

Lastly, if this will be mandated - please make the device durable and reliable. As was mentioned earlier, it is another failure point, and you can see in this thread that people look for reasons not to support new things - don't make racecar owners have to fight with high % of defects / device failures - racecars are the nightmare scenario for electrical devices... put another way - don't rollout before the torture testing is complete and failure modes addressed in revisions.

 

I wholeheartedly support this idea and hope you guys nail it on build and execution. If I can help in testing or development I would be glad to do so.

 

 

 

 

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On 1/17/2019 at 6:36 PM, takjak2 said:

So how do we sign up and get one?

PM'd but otherwise email sales@flagtronics.com

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Prepping the next revision of development boxes for Road Atlanta! We're concurrently developing the alpha hardware for use later this year. We will have local flagging capability at this event and will be working with the track and CCES to roll this capability out.

IMG_20190122_172925.jpg

Edited by vtjballeng
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my flag awareness is not good , I doubt that my awareness of this gadget will be good either...I think both combined will make me a little better with my overall  shitty awareness...worth 100.00 bucks to me....but I doubt the 100.00 number...

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2 hours ago, vtjballeng said:

Prepping the next revision of development boxes for Road Atlanta! We're concurrently developing the alpha hardware for use later this year. We will have local flagging capability at this event and will be working with the track and CCES to roll this capability out.


mODyIcdspXxt6zsBKeHfkG7OsVVB6h0k2jB044uv7NaojAIBUr9_2oLn24l2bRGS6y63yiBqMPRjPZskTvLkG3NMVtmgjQ7oNxghruAzEX6MsGW67BZuSglHEO6CrKGmoE2SBGw-vEg_9s_TY52i79NOXJkicfBqVbpPn3QZkd_FmqRQ_6zxgixwXAAK9vKEikIWG7AZ1tX13RHNH96zyeD1COMYGGEnuFYA7cAx6eVl0UZ19GtNLjYdkDS7P98pK98G9OMdn38bmSVrHj5IgoqTL2_ylkX6sU3y5ZwqyM2UeC6DlaqWDjfHVflXAYfjgOUnvI7J6yToQVYlqQBUWQQRpgxcwMKM7X5Vf2XFYTjAfTic_ZuP7hn2U4D_ANVHh-IrU0ueWgEAh0zdM_qRRuMwjaKoo0axyKaE1WaYe8LC5wHV0Y1TPf17JkCoe5Rsz8EKtCni1nxDTqRSHOQKF5U78v8zwL_q8krfIRXs72KLCohgV8yDXhs7RE-9dQhz9lzGzNq51-1dDJc1sCElP35qVIZIc6IbqmRHro4-OTDEIdedAC-c-FxaOyyVFf3FhIBC8EaJL-V_npGfecjdRfFO2AcqJGYW93d6frybK5_1DJYPYkBkrG1S1ILzQyJO4I2qTYCd7VIWmBcElsVeqSkfYw=w1202-h1057-no

I'll buy one and test it at Road America.

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51 minutes ago, ablesnead said:

my flag awareness is not good , I doubt that my awareness of this gadget will be good either...I think both combined will make me a little better with my overall  shitty awareness...worth 100.00 bucks to me....but I doubt the 100.00 number...

So you don't pay attention to  gauges in the car ?

Edited by DEE DEE

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3 hours ago, vtjballeng said:

Prepping the next revision of development boxes for Road Atlanta! We're concurrently developing the alpha hardware for use later this year. We will have local flagging capability at this event and will be working with the track and CCES to roll this capability out.

I don't see an image or link or anything... any idea what I'm missing on my end that doesn't let me see the image?

 

This is what I see:

flagtronics.png

Edited by enginerd

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I think this is great.  If professional series use systems like this, why not ChampCar?  Anything that can supplement an already existing method and increase everyone's safety is a plus.

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I do gauge checks on straights ...can usually see flags on straights ....but I have missed a lot of flags over the years on twisty bits...that's why I have a bright shift light , can't focus on tach , everytime I need to ....hope this gadget is a bright light , not a gauge...

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On 12/19/2018 at 5:16 PM, vtjballeng said:

A common thread we've seen in some of the announcement feedback is a request for situations in which in car flagging is helpful. Perhaps this will help some.

 

There are many other scenarios not outlined here specifically. Maybe there are other scenarios you can think of?

 

Fills in coverage holes between flag stations

 

Gets dangerous cars who are unresponsive to black flags off track

 

Improve all drivers flag observation percentage

 

Helps first time novice drivers (lemons/champcar/hpde/etc) avoid wrecks

 

Allows messages to dangerous drivers red misting around track

 

Greatly improves night flagging

 

Greatly improves low visibility flagging in conditions like fog or heavy rain

 

Allows flagging when drivers line of sight to flag stand is obscured

 

Capable of notifying race control of a stopped car or wreck

 

Gives team flag information in the pits for improved strategy & safety

 

Capable of providing blue flag to improve safety passing

 

Pit Timer capability

 

Pit speed Warning

 

Emergency services may be dispatched to accident

 

Tow truck may be dispatched to disabled vehicle

 

Purple Flag speed warning (VIR 35 as example)

 

Color Blind supplementation as many color blind drivers can't distinguish existing flags

 

Avoid Black Flag confusion where multiple cars pit for the Black flag event of one car

It needs to be able to shout “GREEN GREEN GREEN GO GO GO!!!!!!!!!”

 

kidding.  Looking forward to next phases of this. 

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17 hours ago, Racer28173 said:

It needs to be able to shout “GREEN GREEN GREEN GO GO GO!!!!!!!!!”

 

Seriously. That would be awesome! C'mon....

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3 hours ago, FlorahDorah said:

Seriously. That would be awesome! C'mon....

 

21 hours ago, Racer28173 said:

It needs to be able to shout “GREEN GREEN GREEN GO GO GO!!!!!!!!!”

 

kidding.  Looking forward to next phases of this. 

 

I want my flagtronics box to shout “boogity boogity boogity, let’s go racing!”

Edited by enginerd
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3 minutes ago, enginerd said:

 

 

I want my flagrronics box to shout “boogity boogity boogity, let’s go racing!”

 

Almost edited my post with exactly that.... 

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4 minutes ago, enginerd said:

 

 

I want my flagrronics box to shout “boogity boogity boogity, let’s go racing!”

One of the younger generation could prob whip up a color sensing secondary device. B)

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