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Bloodhound races to Oracle

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The Bloodhound Project has teamed up with Oracle to smash the land speed record and inspire future generations of budding scientists and engineers. 

As Bloodhound’s new Cloud partner, Oracle will provide technology to help Bloodhound collect, analyse and broadcast data from more than 500 sensors installed on the Bloodhound SSC (Super Sonic Car) to classrooms around the world. This information gives students a detailed look at how technology is rocketing the world’s fastest land vehicle towards 1000mph.

This landmark engineering endeavour will help teachers inspire students about science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) subjects. The Project has already become a leading STEM resource with over one hundred thousand students doing Bloodhound related activities in UK school’s every year.  Millions more are engaged worldwide and with the car set to begin track tests this year, that number is expected to soar.

Bloodhound Project Director, Richard Noble, said: “The aviation and space races of the 1960s inspired a wave of young people to pursue careers in science and engineering, and our hope is that Bloodhound will do the same at a time where technical skills are in painfully short supply. We want students to feel they are right there with us as we chase 1000mph, and by working with Oracle we’ll be able to deliver on that promise.”

Oracle technology isn’t just helping Bloodhound to drive its education programme; it will also help the team’s engineers optimise the Bloodhound SSC for its ultimate record-breaking attempt. With a real-time view of how different components and technologies in the car are performing, the Bloodhound team will be able to quickly spot and address any technical issues as they build up towards the 1000mph run.

The first major outing for this technology will come in October, when the Bloodhound is scheduled for its first 200mph test in Newquay, Cornwall.

John Abel, Oracle’s Bloodhound Project Lead, said: “The Bloodhound Project is about moving fast in more ways than one. The team’s engineers will need fast data and even faster insights to fine-tune what is a unique, prototype vehicle pushing the limits of computer design and material technology. Our solutions will provide the foundation for these insights over the next two years.  We look forward to seeing Bloodhound set a new benchmark for human ingenuity, discovery and speed as they drive STEM education around the world.”

Oracle joins other team Partners including Castrol, Zhejiang Geely Holding Group, Nammo, MTN, Rolex, Rolls Royce and a host of Technical Partners and Suppliers.

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MWC: Cars begin talking to each other via V2X

Vehicle-to-everything communication is ready to roll out globally, says the 5G Automotive Association

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At Mobile World Congress in Barcelona last week, the 5G Automotive Association (5GAA) announced that ‘Cellular Vehicle-to-Everything’ (C-V2X) communication technology was about to see its first commercial standard: LTE-V2X. In effect the 4G version of C-V2X, the initial version allows vehicles to communicate with each other and their surroundings. Together with 5G enhancements, it will facilitate broad scale improvements in road safety.

“These end-to-end integrated solutions bring enhanced safety, sustainability, and convenience to all road users,” said Thierry Klein, 5GAA vice chair and Head of the Disruptive Innovation Program at Nokia Bell Labs. “5GAA is very excited to be pioneering the revolution towards a smarter and more connected mobility world.”

C-V2X communication is the state-of-the-art, high-speed cellular communications platform that enables vehicles to communicate with one another, with roadside infrastructure, with other road users (such as pedestrians, cyclists, and motorcyclists) using either direct short-range communications or cellular networks. While C-V2X network-based solutions are already widely deployed, direct communication solutions will be commercially available as of this year. As such the C-V2X platform delivers safety, mobility, traffic efficiency, and environmental benefits. C-V2X is designed with an evolutionary path to 5G and supports safe and efficient operations of autonomous vehicles.

Click here to read about 5GAA members spearheading C-V2X.

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Project Bloodhound saved

The British project to break the world landspeed record at a site in the Northern Cape has been saved by a new backer, after it went into bankruptcy proceedings in October.

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Two weeks ago,  and two months after entering voluntary administration, the Bloodhound Programme Limited announced it was shutting down. This week it announced that its assets, including the Bloodhound Supersonic Car (SSC), had been acquired by an enthusiastic – and wealthy – supporter.

“We are absolutely delighted that on Monday 17th December, the business and assets were bought, allowing the Project to continue,” the team said in a statement.

“The acquisition was made by Yorkshire-based entrepreneur Ian Warhurst. Ian is a mechanical engineer by training, with a strong background in managing a highly successful business in the automotive engineering sector, so he will bring a lot of expertise to the Project.”

Warhurst and his family, says the team, have been enthusiastic Bloodhound supporters for many years, and this inspired his new involvement with the Project.

“I am delighted to have been able to safeguard the business and assets preventing the project breakup,” he said. “I know how important it is to inspire young people about science, technology, engineering and maths, and I want to ensure Bloodhound can continue doing that into the future.

“It’s clear how much this unique British project means to people and I have been overwhelmed by the messages of thanks I have received in the last few days.”

The record attempt was due to be made late next year at Hakskeen Pan in the Kalahari Desert, where retired pilot Andy Green planned to beat the 1228km/h land-speed record he set in the United States in 1997. The target is for Bloodhound to become the first car to reach 1000mph (1610km/h). A track 19km long and 500 metres wide has been prepared, with members of the local community hired to clear 16 000 tons of rock and stone to smooth the surface.

The team said in its announcement this week: “Although it has been a frustrating few months for Bloodhound, we are thrilled that Ian has saved Bloodhound SSC from closure for the country and the many supporters around the world who have been inspired by the Project. We now have a lot of planning to do for 2019 and beyond.”

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