BFGoodrich Tires certainly hopes so. The company recently hosted 23 guests (including X Games gold medalist Shaun White) to try what it describes as “a first-of-its-kind experiment that tested the correlation between the performance technology of the new BFGoodrich g-Force Sport COMP-2™ and the amount of fun drivers have behind the wheel.”
That’s a fancy, PR way of saying BFGoodrich found a way track how well a driver was performing and how much fun he or she was having while running a rally circuit. They set up test center near Los Angeles capable of tracking tire performance and driver mood – expressing the connection between the two in real-time.
When drivers arrived, they received a laser-etched BFGoodrich tire with Awesomecross event details. After each Awesomecross attendee finished their drive, the hand-etched tire was overlaid with another etching including all of the racer’s driving information – including mood and highlights of their drive on the BFGoodrich g-Force Sport COMP-2 tire.
With tire in hand, each driver got into van and dropped off at the driver evaluation tent where they answered a questionnaire on their driving experience and other details. Then, drivers climbed into a gyroscope to measure their baseline EEG reaction to g-force.
(Remember, folks. All of this was to sell tires. Our space program lies dead at Washington’s feet, but we can laser blast tires and test G-force tolerance on auto journalists. But, I digress.)
Regardless of make, each Awesomecross vehicle was kitted out with small lights in its wheel wells that glowed red depending on the g-force that the driver was pulling. The lights also tracked acceleration, braking and horizontal movement. The harder you drove, the more Gs pulled, the brighter the glow.
The g-Force Sport COMP-2 tires were also equipped with lights that externally tracked driver achievements like speed, lateral Gs, steering accuracy, etc.
Achievements, such as starting fast out of the gate or achieving high g-forces, were indicated by flashing red lights on the BFGoodrich. Lights on vehicles that were waiting at the gate pulsed with white lights.
Finally, lights on the rally course itself . Red columns of lights displayed their g-force in real-time. On each lap, an outline of lights indicated the driver’s previous lap performance and encouraged a better run the next time around.
Drivers wore EEG headsets with their helmets to measure brain electricity. I can name a few of my fellow car writers who I was surprised to find produced any activity up there, but I travel too much and get crabby sometimes.
After analyzing the data, BFGoodrich created nine mood icons to visualize that data. They measured how focused vs. unfocused, calm vs. wild, etc., each driver was.
Mood icons were reflected on each driver’s etched tire that they received after their run, on a live race display and also displayed on an iPad in the driver’s car in real-time during their run. Drivers earned badges based on their on-track achievements. If a driver hit the right speed threshold, the “Speedy” badge was slapped onto that driver’s etched tire. You get the idea.
To build Awesomecross, BFGoodrich Tires and The Martin Agency sought out innovative partners such as Deeplocal for in-depth data analysis and lighting from the Jason Bruges Studio.
A video chronicling all of Awesomecross will be is online now on the BFGoodrich YouTube channel.