#OI2Dublin – McLaren’s Peter van Manen: ‘The future of Formula 1 is data driven’ (video)

21 May 2013

We talk to Peter van Manen of McLaren Electronics about how technology innovation developed by the McLaren Formula 1 team has been translated into powerful solutions in transport, communications and healthcare.

At the Open Innovation 2.0 conference at Dublin Castle this morning van Manen conveyed the essence of open innovation by encapsulating the sheer amount of technology involved in Formula 1 and how it is resulting in massive transformations in other sectors like transport and healthcare.

“Formula 1 is quite complicated and we start off with a car that in itself is quite complex – the chassis is made up of 11,000 components, there are 6,000 components in the engine and there are more than 8,000 electronics components. In every car there are 25,000 things that have to come together in order to be successful.”

Van Manen has been with McLaren for more than 20 years and he has been involved in every control unit they have ever deployed. A mechanical engineer he has also been involved in NASCAR racing and IndyCar.

He said that Formula 1 is an increasingly data-driven industry. “It’s a matter of understanding what you have built and turning that data into stories from which you can take action.”

He revealed that the diagnostic systems developed by the McLaren team are now being used by Birmingham Children’s Hospital in the UK to spot potential cardiac arrest in infants and also by the train system in San Francisco to create a Wi-Wi corridor to transmit diagnostic information and also provide Wi-Fi services to passengers.

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John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years