Drivers, Start Your IP Engines

In parts of the country, auto racing is the most exciting and fastest-growing
sport. In the IT community, the same could be said of IP

At Sunday’s Indianapolis 500, the two will come

Cisco said several of its IP networking components and
devices will be used by the Red Bull Cheever racing team to improve the
transmission of data between onboard computers and support crews in the

The system, which has been in testing since July, uses the company’s
Aironet 1100 and 1300 series access points,
mobile access routers and 7920 wireless IP phones.

Red Bull Cheever Racing

VoIP on the Indy track.
Source: Red Bull
Cheever Racing

Eddie Cheever Jr., owner of Red Bull Cheever Racing, who himself won
the Indy 500 as a driver in 1998, believes the added

intelligence could provide an edge.

It was Cheever who approached Greg Akers, CTO of Cisco’s global
government solutions group, to ask if he had any ideas on

helping his team extract information from their telemetry systems.

“The two had a ‘back of the napkin’ session and continued discussions
to integrate the wireless and VoIP technology,” Charles

Sommerhauser, a Cisco spokesman, told

Sommerhauser added that the Indy 500 project is part of a joint
development/proof of concept initiative with Cisco and

Cheever sharing costs.

Cheever seems pleased with the results so far. “In a single lap around
the track, we get nearly double the amount of
coverage, in the transmission of data from car to engineers, than any
other team,” Cheever said in a statement. “This

complete footprint of the track means we get crucial information
when it happens, without delay.”

Red Bull Cheever Racing has two cars in the race: No. 51 Toyota-powered
Dallara driven by Alex Barron; and No. 83 Toyota/Dallara driven by Patrick
Carpentier. Both will use Cisco IP systems.

“By utilizing Cisco wireless and VoIP technology, Red Bull Cheever Racing
can be more mobile, have real-time access to data, and finally, optimize
its racecar performance,” Akers said in a statement.

Cisco and other network equipment makers have been pushing IP technology for
business use, extolling improved performance and cost savings of
converging voice and data onto a single network.

The effort has resulted in some high-profile enterprise wins, including a major
at Ford. A smooth race for the Cheever team on Sunday would
help illustrate another real-world application for the technology.

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