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The Red Bull Ring in Spielberg is being reintroduced to the grand prix circuit for the first time since 2003, when it was called the A1-Ring, and before that, it was founded as the Österreichring.
So the track will be unfamiliar to a lot of fans, especially those outside Europe. It was important for Red Bull to communicate its location and features to the millions of people across the world who tune into F1 for every race. As mapping experts, HERE was able to help.
To help viewers understand exactly where the track (and indeed, Austria itself) is situated, HERE supplied the maps and imagery used to zoom from the globe into Europe, then Austria, into the state of Styria. And then around the 4.3km Spielberg track itself.
HERE provided vast, enormously detailed satellite imagery for this task and created entirely new software to deal with it.
The images used were the equivalent of 16,384 4k TVs, stitched together (they would measure around five square miles displayed on those same TVs). Why did they need to be so mind-bendingly large? So that the zoom sequences could be 'filmed' in a single shot, by zooming further and further into each image.
Only by using such a massive resolution could the zoom be so fluid, and the final image in the shot be as crisp and clear as the first.
But the involvement goes a lot further than the maps, and into the field of connected and automated cars.
In fact, Red Bull worked with the HERE connected car design team to incorporate some elements of our Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS) into the way the track is portrayed. The HUD style display around the outskirts of the screen is based on designs the team is creating for future vehicles.
And HERE has also added to the video at track level. As part of the path towards ever-more automated cars, we’re adding calculations of how the curvature of roads affects the difficulty of driving around them, to calculate appropriate speeds and approaches to corners.
You can see this data visualised in the video - we grabbed a shot below. Beneath that is a visualisation of how HERE is adding this to everyday roads.
Those graphics communicate the optimal racing speed and g-force at the corners. G-forces in Formula 1 are the downward and lateral forces generated by quickly braking and turning as a corner approaches. Understanding and controlling these forces are important tests of the drivers’ skills. You can imagine the consequences of not succeeding here.
In the future, we’ll be asking automated cars to make similar decisions for us, and that’s why we’re in the process of building all the necessary information into HERE maps.
We hope you enjoyed the video. It contains a lot of innovation from us in terms of the way we’re able to describe the location and the in-depth features of the track: mixing together video, high-res satellite imagery, place markers, CGI and data visualisations. We’re really taking maps to new places!
The Austrian grand prix at the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg takes place on June 20-22.
Can’t wait for the lights to go out.