Flying cars and 5G: building a connected future for sports and racing

We’ve been racing cars since the late 1800s. The original Grand Prix races in France, raced from town to town with cars driving at a blistering average speed of… about 20km/h. We’ve certainly come a long way since then.
Chris Smith · 22 September 2021 · 4 minute read

From the big petrol engines of the late 1900s, to the hybrid and electric Formula cars we see today, motor racing has always been at the forefront of technological evolution and pushing the boundaries of what we can do in the name of speed.

Airspeeder is the next evolution of this, promising flying electric cars with a revolutionary viewing experience that we are incredibly proud to be a part of.

The racing series has been created by the world’s only performance electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) manufacturer, Alauda Aeronautics and the historic first flights took place near Adelaide in June.

Airspeeder’s vision for the world’s first electric flying car racing series has the underlying potential to transform the way we move around cities, just as Formula One has driven innovation for the cars we use today.

Whether pilots are on-board or flying remotely, they’ll be able to fly and race closely and safely without physically touching with near real-time data and connectivity powering haptic alerts and proximity sensors.

Telstra Purple developed a near real-time virtual race-control system that feeds essential technical status information to ground crews throughout races and test flights, reflecting the approach employed by leading aviation companies in augmenting and monitoring essential systems for aircraft safety.

Powering the future of motorsport entertainment brought to you by 5G

With our advanced 5G network, we’re also uniquely placed to deliver a fully immersive 5G powered spectator experience through augmented and virtual reality devices, signalling the advent of an entirely new way to experience the next generation of sporting experiences.

As sports like Airspeeder develop, combined with the power of 5G, camera angles from the drivers cockpit won’t just be a simple view of what they see, but there’s a future with virtual reality where you could feel like you’re inside the cockpit with the driver seeing everything they do, almost like you’re racing these flying cars yourself.

Similarly, watching a race live in person, 5G opens up the ability to explore what can be done with augmented reality – whether it’s getting live data on the car and driver by pointing your phone at it while it drives past or overlayed racing lines by pointing at the track.

There are going to be incredible opportunities that we haven’t even thought of yet, but one thing is for sure, that how you watch racing is only going to get better with 5G.

Built by Telstra Purple

Telsta Purple brings together the combined might of a number of Telstra Enterprise’s recent acquisitions over the last few years and our existing technology services together to build incredible technical solutions. It brings together more than 1500 people working on over 8000 projects per year around the world.

Connecting terabytes of data for vehicle to vehicle (V2V) and vehicle to infrastructure (V2I) communications, Telstra Purple will deliver the near real-time virtual race-control system required for the high-speed, close format, multi-vehicle circuit racing in the Airspeeder EXA series.

Racing provides an important testbed to rapidly develop key safety, powertrain and engineering elements that will help drive an advanced air mobility future. Telstra Purple and Airspeeder’s technical partnership will also provide the perfect testing ground for connectivity and data management technologies.

If there was any project that was going to really show its capability, Airspeeder reinforces Telstra Purple’s expertise, capabilities, and partnerships drive leading-edge work to help all companies achieve innovative solutions to their problems, no matter what they are.


By Chris Smith

Executive - Telstra Purple

Chris leads Telstra’s Network Applications and Services (NAS) business and Telstra Purple, Australia’s largest technology services business. Telstra Purple operates internationally, bringing together more than 1500 certified experts in network, security, cloud, collaboration, mobility, software, data and analytics, and design. Before joining Telstra, Chris served in executive product management, sales and delivery roles in software and services companies in Australia, the USA and the UK.

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