Thursday, September 9, 2004


Ferrari, IT at >300km/h

There are a some companies I would really love to IT for; Ferrari, JPL and Valentino Rossi's Moto GP team. What can I say; I'm a speed loving space nut!

The interview with Dieter Gundel, the head of racetrack electronics at Ferrari on is interesting. Some of the stuff I already assumed; the core stuff is written in c/assembler. It is great that they agree with my coding philosophy: choose the tool/language for developmed in the language that makes most sense depending on the probleml C++, Delphi, VB, … (as well as C#, Java, Perl, if you ask me)

It's scary that a Ferrari F1 can "crash" even though it is temporarily.

As the function of the car fully depends on software, this software can go wrong. A crash will be only temporarily because as usual in embedded software, there are plenty of watchdogs in the control software that will reboot the controller after a short period of inactivity

Accomplishing high security over WiFi: don't use it

We are not using wireless networking at the circuit and at the factory yet because we are not satisfied with the security. All our laptops that leave the factory with critical data have encrypted hard disks. Our telemetry traffic from the car to the garage is encrypted as well.

Lessons I have learned the "hard way" way as well.

The keyword for us is redundancy and fallback solutions. We practice a fallback of our operation down to the level of data transport between machines using USB sticks, just to be prepared for the worst. The other point is one of the main principles of (Formula 1) operation: Never make the same mistake twice. We therefore respond to all problems with a fix, either by improving components or the structure or by stepping back to a less performance-focused but safe scenario.

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