Oracle has announced that has teamed up with the Bloodhound project. It will provide technology to the project and help with its wider evangelism of STEM education. The Bloodhound project aims to build and race a car and break the 1000mph barrier as well as set a new land speed record. Andy Green holds the current record of 763.035mph set by Thrust SSS on 15 October 1997 in Nevada.
The Bloodhound project is well advanced with its first public trial run held in Newquay on 26th October. That day is a key deliverable date for the Oracle technology that will provide insight to help the project’s success.
How will Oracle help Bloodhound SSC
This is not a small project for Oracle and utilises several pieces of technology. We asked Oracle what technology they would implement for the project. A spokesperson commented: “We will be using Oracle database, and open source technology including Java Cloud service and internet of things. All data modules are publically available. We will be using AI initially, and will move to machine learning. We are using data visualisation cloud service and applications written on Java.”
The IoT (Internet of Things) solution will support more than 500 sensors within the car. A team from Oracle is already working on the project. That team is flexible and Oracle will replace staff as the project progresses. The inference is that the team is not large but will evolve its personnel over time. This ensures that the right skills are in place at the right time.
Addressing the need for STEM
Bloodhound SSC isn’t just about delivering a new world record. It is also using the opportunity to promote interest in STEM education (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics). Oracle will support that endeavour with the publically available data from the IoT solution. Students from when they first enter school to when they leave University will be able to learn from the information available about Bloodhound SSC. The intent is to generate enthusiasm across the globe. In the UK alone it is estimated that 100,000 student will participate in Bloodhound related projects each year. That number is set to soar once the track tests are underway.
Students from each of the disciplines will be able to take the raw data and analyse it using the tools Oracle is making available. Bloodhound and Oracle are still working out the detail of what systems will be available to education.
Bloodhound Project Director, Richard Noble, commented: “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.”
A truly global project
While the project was born in the Britain with Ron Noble and Andy Green announcing the project in 2008 in the Science Museum, the project has a global reach. Britain has a long history of pushing the land speed record to higher levels and this is the latest and most ambitious attempt. It has attracted the interest of global companies. The key sponsors are from countries across the globe are lead by China’s largest privately owned automobile group Zhejiang Geely Holding Group (ZGH). Other primary sponsors include Nammo, Rolls Royce and Castrol. The actual record attempt will be made in South Africa.
Oracle has not yet been named as a sponsor but will make the data available globally through their data centres. It allows them to share IoT data collected across the world for analysis. This is just a single project but it has many analogies with the business needs of today’s digitally transformed company. Once more information around the technology is available it will be interesting to see how the design team and education establishments use it.
What does it mean
This is an interesting project that sees Oracle working with cutting edge technology. Many ERP companies partner with Formula 1 teams but Oracle has gone one better. This is a highly technological project at the cutting edge of science and engineering. Bloodhound is not merely aiming to increase the speed record, but smash it. The parameters are different for Bloodhound SSC. For petrolheads everywhere this is one project that they will keep an eye on as it progresses.
John Abel, Oracle’s Bloodhound Project Lead, commented: “The Bloodhound Project is about moving fast in more ways than one. The team’s engineers will need fast data and even faster insights from that data 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, and 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 analytics will form part of this story going forward. In some ways it is a brave decision backing a project that is so ambitious. Failure is not an option and it will be interesting to see how much Oracle will invest in Bloodhound SSC going forward.