Magneti Marelli: Laptime Club
"Take the innovation challenge to become a motorsport race engineer"
Magneti Marelli is an international Group committed to the design and production of hi-tech systems and components for the automotive sector. With more than 38.000 employees, 85 production units, 12 R&D Centres and 26 Application Centres, the Group is present in 19 countries and supplies all the most important car makers in Europe, North and South America and Asia.
Magneti Marelli Motorsport Department designs and produces electronic and electro-mechanical systems for two and four wheels racing vehicles. In particular, it supplies hi-tech systems for engine control and data acquisition (ECUs, injectors, sensors etc.), telemetry systems, electro-hydraulic systems for gearbox automation and control. It also provides displays, dashboards, alternators, voltage regulators, ignition coils, pressure regulators, fuel pumps and software applications. Since 2008 Magneti Marelli is also working in the area of research and production of kinetic energy recovery systems (KERS) for Formula 1 and other motorsports series. The business line is based in Milan (Corbetta), with plants in Turin (Venaria) and Bologna, and application centres in France, UK, USA, Brazil and Japan.
The LapTime Club Project
LapTime Club (www.laptimeclub.com) has been launched by Magneti Marelli Motorsport division, as an online collaborative platform with the aim of generating new, innovative ideas. Through the aggregation function of the social network, members of the community can propose new technological solutions and points of view, contribute to the evolution of existing technologies or suggest their different and alternative uses.
The project’s target includes university students (e.g. from engineering faculties)
and individuals from other fields, technically competent to cope with complex topics and to contribute by presenting technologically advanced solutions.
The objective of LapTime Club is to exploit, in a non self-referential manner, the online social environment and the passion for motorsport in order to stimulate creativity and innovation, which in turn promote the development of new ideas, products and services for the racing world. That means these innovations could potentially explore influences of other highly specialized engineering sectors. Users with different technical backgrounds are therefore invited to involve and develop their skills in a fruitful exchange of ideas and experiences, in the new logic of ‘open innovation’.
The idea of an open exchange on the Web originated from the evolution process of Magneti Marelli’s WinTAX software technology, the telemetry analysis tool used in racing, capable of displaying results of over 3,000 vehicle performance parameters. The community has initiated a number of open discussions around this topic, thus encouraging collaboration, dialogue and the generation of new ideas.
In order to access the LapTime Club laboratory, users need to register at the website: community.laptimeclub.com. Once registered, it is possible to see the challenges posted, collaborate and propose new ideas. LapTime Cub members have already discussed themes such as Internet of Things (IoT), mobile racing data analytics, WinTAX new features, in-vehicle infotainment, as well as engine efficiency & low-carbon systems and wearable technologies.
Here is a preview of the LapTime Club community:
LAPTIME CLUB RESULTS
The pilot phase started in January 2014 and after six months the community has been opened to external and international audience. The first results clearly demonstrate the success of the project: at the end of March 2015 LapTime Club counted around 750 members, 10 challenges, a total of 720 votes and more than 300 submitted comments. The community has generated about 80.000 page views and, what is most important, more than 100 innovative ideas. Members of the community come from more than 30 countries from all around the world and their number is growing every day.