It’s almost time for the F1 2024 season to begin, which means that pre-season testing is already underway in Bahrain. Learn everything you need to know for this year’s competition!
How the Testing Works
Testing is done to ensure each car is running properly. These tests will take place in Bahrain and last for three days. Each team brings one car to test, and the drivers divide their time equally. However, it’s worth noting that teams’ testing programs will differ from each other.
Red Bull undeniably conquered 2023, leaving fans wondering if 2024 will involve an upset. Team principal Christian Horner is prepared for competitors to try and copy last year’s success. Horner explained, “Imitation is the biggest form of flattery. There’ll be convergence, but the level at which the team has operated on a consistent basis, across all conditions, and all different circuits to achieve 21 Grand Prix victories, six 1-2 finishes, to have broken all the records that we have with consecutive wins and so on… it’s astounding.”
Fans will just have to wait and see if his predictions are correct.
The autonomous vehicle industry has always struggled with navigating bad weather. At times, it can become difficult even for the cameras, lidar, and radar to detect fog, snow, and rain at times. This is why Waymo, an Alphabet company, has been secretly working on their AV’s weather detectors and they might have found the solution. In fact, they might soon introduce the world’s first AV fog map in San Francisco.
Millions of data points were gathered by Waymo’s fleet of autonomous vehicles as they traveled through the foggy streets of San Francisco to create the map. Waymo is able to develop a new meteorological “metric” that it then feeds to its autonomous Waymo Driver to assist in decision-making using special weather-detecting vehicles with visibility sensors. Robert Chen, the product lead for Waymo’s weather team, stated that fog has been a big focus for the business. That makes sense in light of the significance the San Francisco Bay Area has for the corporation both financially and symbolically. In order to outperform human drivers, many of whom are overconfident in their own ability to see through particularly dense fog, the ultimate goal is to create a vehicle that can reliably and securely navigate through all forms of severe weather.
Trials and Testing
Arizona was the primary location for Waymo’s initial testing due to its sunny, dry climate and flat terrain. However, over the last few years, the company has broadened the scope of its testing to include more hazardous environments, such as icy Novi, Michigan, soggy Kirkland, Washington, foggy San Francisco, and hot Florida. Waymo’s fleet can follow the development of coastal fogs coming from the Pacific Ocean using this map, as well as how they dissipate when the sun rises. The company claimed that its weather observation capabilities allow them to localize where the weather conditions are beginning to deteriorate or improve. They are already using these to make ride-hailing services available in San Francisco and Phoenix.