Computer Controlled Drag Race Car
April 8, 2012
I'm searching for information to build a computer controlled system that will learn and control the accleration profile of a full size drag race car. So that the same profile can be produced over again.
Elapsed Time Bracket Racing is a form of drag racing that uses "handicaps" for pairing different styles of vehicles. Each driver predicts their car's time. When paired the slower will get a "head start", in the amount of the difference between the two cars prediction. "Breakout" rules prevent drivers from falsely predicting a time slower than the car can actually run "sand bagging" with the purpose of out running the other car. Any car that beats the other car to the finish line and goes under their predicted time is eliminated. Consistancy is the main strategy.
I want to automate this by using a non-contact transducer to measure speed and distance travelled. Needing software to save the profile created from "a pass" distance vs time (like exisiting data aquisition software). But, I would like the software to be able to recall that profile and reproduce it using controlled relays to activate shift points and rpm limiters. (the car already has electonic shift solenoids, and rpm limiters but these are manually activated at this time).
At the least, have a digital readout to show the time difference from the "baseline" profile to the one currently running, allowing the driver to know if they are over or under their predicted elapse time during the run.
As you can probably tell, I know alot about the mechanical side of this project and little to no knowledge of programming, PLCs, or interfacing sensors to work as a system. Does anyone know where I should start, or could help with expertise in developing this system? I have kept the details pretty generic in this post to just throw the idea out there, but there's alot more details to it.
Thanks in advance