Last week the Bloodhound Supersonic car made its first test runs in public at Newquay Airport in Cornwall. It received a significant amount of media attention, with features on BBC, ITV and Channel 4 TV news throughout the day, as well as on Radio 4’s Today programme and in the Daily Mirror.
One of the most exciting features of the project is the educational partnership between Bloodhound and Oracle to stream data and video from the car’s runs to schools and homes. The car is packed with sensors streaming live data using cheap-and-cheerful components which are widely available. So we have access to the same data as the project’s engineers. It also has on-board powerful 360° video cameras which stream 3D video for use with VR kit, so that we can all experience the same views as the driver, Andy Green. Unlike any similar big data source, there is no restriction due to confidentiality (except for data from the RR military jet engine). No competitor is lurking in the wings!
You can find out more about the scope of the project from Oracle’s press release. The team made an inspiring presentation at the huge Oracle Open World conference in Los Angeles recently. Richard Noble, the Bloodhound Project leader set the scene. John Abel, Oracle’s VP for Technology & the Cloud, gave the technical background, as well as a simple and powerful message about technological education. We need to inspire as many young minds as possible, so as to raise their aspiration to do well, and gain a better education. In an article in Computing, John explains the technical details, which include using Raspberry Pis.
Current information on this weekend’s runs including video and data can be found on Twitter, on Oracle’s dedicated site and on the Bloodhound site. If the publicity has the desired effect, sponsorship should result in enabling Bloodhound to break the sound barrier in 2018 and 1000 mph in 2019.