Anti-drone tech protected a weekend of NASCAR racing


Anti-drone technology isn't just being used at airports or sensitive political and military locations. Law enforcement just relied on DroneShield's systems, including its anti-drone gun, to protect against UAVs during a NASCAR race series at the Texas Motor Speedway between April 5th and April 8th. The tech helped police watch out for drones, disable them and (if all else failed) knock them out of the air. There weren't any known incidents, but it's notable that the technology was involved in the first place -- it was the first time American law enforcers used all three of DroneShield's products. The company is also keen to tout that it's the "sole provider" of counter-drone hardware for NASCAR.

Toyota put on a race to find the most-efficient drivers


The Sonoma Raceway traditionally hosts Indy and Nascar events where cars sprint around the track at breathtaking speeds, burning thousands gallons of gas pulled from the remains of long-dead dinosaurs. The Toyota Prius Challenge is, in nearly every possible way, the exact opposite of that experience. Instead of speed, competitors are graded on efficiency. Toyota picked 20 teams to drive around the track in identical Prius' and tasked them with pulling as many miles per gallon as possible during a 40-minute, nine lap "race." But the streamlining squads needed more than just a light foot.

First Autonomous Test Vehicle Developed Entirely By Toyota Research Institute Displayed At Prius Challenge Event At Sonoma Raceway


The all- new test vehicle will be used to explore a full range of autonomous driving capabilities. Toyota's work on autonomous vehicles in the United States began in 2005 at its technical center in Ann Arbor, Mich.-- The company secured its first U.S. patents in the field in 2006.-- According to a report last year by the Intellectual Property and Science division of Thomson Reuters, Toyota holds more patents in the field than any other company. "This new advanced safety research vehicle is the first autonomous testing platform developed entirely by TRI, and reflects the rapid progress of our autonomous driving program," said TRI CEO Gill Pratt.

Toyota brings Prius Challenge to Sonoma Raceway


Toyota Research Institute (TRI), with an office in Palo Alto, is bringing the Prius Challenge to Sonoma Raceway for a competitive event designed to engage the startup and tech community. The event will be held March 3, 2017, and will include a team competition where participants strive to optimize their driving using strategies via an app created specifically for the event. The Prius Challenge originated at Toyota's headquarters in Japan, where participants battle it out to see who can achieve the best fuel economy and efficiency rating on a Prius within a target time range. While Toyota employees and dealers have been able to participate in the challenge, this is the first time that members of the public will have the chance to compete. "TRI is excited to host the Prius Challenge and introduce a competition that will allow participants to use machine learning and sophisticated data analysis tools to test out their theories in the real world," said Gill Pratt, CEO at Toyota Research Institute, Inc. "Silicon Valley and the Bay Area are a hotbed for automotive talent and innovation, and this event is the perfect opportunity for TRI to engage with the tech community and have some fun in the process."

Two bodies found in Orange County home of former NASCAR driver Robby Gordon

Los Angeles Times

The bodies of a man and woman were found Wednesday in the Orange home of former NASCAR driver Robby Gordon. Robert Gordon, 68, and Sharon Gordon, 57, were discovered at 5 p.m. in the 1400 block of North Kennymead Street, according to the Orange County Sheriff's-Coroner Department. Property records show Robby Gordon has owned the home since 1989. Few details about the couple's death have been released, but Lt. Fred Lopez told KTLA-TV that family members asked a neighbor on Wednesday to check on the couple's welfare. The neighbor entered the home and discovered the two were dead.

This is the Microsoft tech that's fueling NASCAR


A line of cars as far as the eye can see snakes between the big rigs that carried them to the race. There's a buzz of excitement as crews scramble to make last minute adjustments as officials begin measuring every inch of each car to make sure no one is cheating. Frank Prendergast, a NASCAR engineer working on vehicle inspection tools, pulls out a Microsoft Surface Pro tablet and calls up the Mobile Inspection app. The app, also developed by Microsoft, collects and verifies visual inspection data. It's cut down a process that typically takes six hours to just three, and Microsoft claims the app has already saved 20,000 sheets of paper.

DraftKings NASCAR Pocono 1 Picks and Projections


NASCAR heads to Pocono Raceway, a 2.5-mile flat, triangle-shaped oval. Below I give you picks and machine learning model projections to help you set your DraftKings NASCAR Pocono lineups. Pocono is a unique track where current form matters much more than track history. The race is only set for 160 laps, so dominators are less important than normal. Instead, we'll want to target place differential, even in GPPs, as well as high finishing position.

Algorithms (and gentlemen), start your engines!


On this Memorial Day weekend – traditional start of the racing season the US and the calendar home of the Indy 500 – we thought we'd take a look at the future of racing, and whether Ricky Bobby will find himself hammering it home in the driver's seat…or pushing fries in the concession stand. Racing leagues – including aptly-named Roborace – are popping up promising spectators the opportunity to see driverless cars compete in virtual battles of algorithms. Teams of researchers are taking algorithms similar to those already being used by major brands like Tesla and Google to put cars on the open road and put them to work on the racetrack. There is so much interest in the idea of pushing autonomous vehicle technologies to the extreme that track days have been set up to enable autonomous technologies developers to put their vehicles to he test on the track. Recently, Arrow Electronics broke records with its semi-autonomous vehicle at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

DraftKings NASCAR Dover Picks and Projections


This weekend's race is as Dover International Speedway, a 1-mile concrete oval with steep banking in the corners. I'll give you picks and projections to help you set your DraftKings NASCAR Dover lineups. The race is scheduled for 400 laps, so finding the dominators is of utmost importance when setting your lineups this week. For more on strategy, listen to this week's NASCAR episode of On the Daily DFS and check out my Dover preview article. I'll continue my logistic regression model to predict the probability that a driver ends up with a top six and a top 10 score for this weekend's DraftKings NASCAR Dover slate.

DraftKings NASCAR Kansas Picks and Projections


This weekend's race is as Kansas Speedway, a 1.5-mile tri-oval with variable banking in the corners. The race is a Saturday night race, so be sure to set your DraftKings NASCAR Kansas lineups on Saturday, not Sunday! With 267 laps scheduled, dominators are important, but perhaps not as important as other races. At Las Vegas earlier this year four drivers led at least 10 percent of the laps, with one other missing the cutoff by three laps led. At the Kansas night race last year, four drivers led 10 percent or more, and that doesn't include race winner Jimmie Johnson who only led a small handful of laps, but took home the all important race win.