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m.logistics Magazine | On Track & On Target | Toughpads keep Formula Ford on track

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30 December 2014

Toughpads keep Formula Ford on track

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Rugged tablet computers from Panasonic have been playing a role in maintaining strict standards during the 2014 season of the Dunlop MSA Formula Ford Championship.

The cars don’t actually have to be Fords, but can vary widely in terms of chassis design, engine build and numerous technical items of specifications. However, they do have to meet very rigorous technical standards set and enforced by Ford.

The latest have an electronic control unit (ECU), which controls the engine and records all the car performance data during the course of each weekend. The Panasonic Toughpad FZ-M1 tablets are being used to monitor the information these gather.

Among those using the devices it Nigel Jones, the Motor Sports Association technical delegate for Formula Ford, who is in charge of scrutineering and technical eligibility at the races. He can plug the Panasonic Toughpad FZ-M1 tablet into the car’s ECU at any time to check that the cars are meeting regulations. “I trust the Panasonic Toughpad tablet implicitly,” he says.

Data recorded includes information such as RPM, speed, and engine and oil temperatures. In the event of an engine problem, scrutineers can also use the Panasonic Toughpad tablet in a diagnostic role.

The Toughpad FZ-M1 is drop-tested to 150cm and has an dust and water IP65 ingress protection. It has an Intel Core processor with 4GB of RAM (8GB optional) and a 128 solid state hard disk (256GB optional), and runs Windows 8 Professional.


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