BMW Autonomous Tech Gives U.S. Olympic Swimmers an Assist
Tech found in BMW vehicles is used to help U.S. swimmers trainby Robert Moore, on
Making it to the Olympics takes a lot of training. Winning gold at the Olympics takes the harshest and most grueling training possible. USA Swimming took gold in Rio, but it wasn’t just all that hard and endless training. The team, who is teamed up with BMW, used some of the German brand’s latest tech to help fine tune themselves during the training process.
First, each swimmer is fitted with some LED lights that are attached to their bodies via 3D-printed mounts. These LEDs are then monitored by an underwater camera that uses BMW’s motion-tracking technology to record each movement the swimmer makes during his or her lap across the pool. The LED lights are attached to a swimmer’s wrist, feet, ankles, knees, thighs, and shoulders, which in turn allows the team to review their precise movements and correct anything that may be slowing them down.
It is the same technology that BMW uses to detect moving obstacles and objects in vehicles that have autonomous capabilities. This isn’t the first time a technology like this has been used. An older version of the same technology, which was obviously far less advanced, was used to help the team train for the Olympics four years ago. This year, the technology was more detailed and accurate, and could very well have given the team the extra boost it needed to bring home the gold this year. Way to go team!
Why it Matters
I’ve got to say that it is pretty wild that autonomous car technology is being used to help swimmers train. The coolest part about the whole system is that this year, the system is much smaller and less intrusive, which means it was easier for the swimmers to maintain their technique during training. Something tells me that this is just the beginning and technology we have in our cars now will eventually find its way into a lot of other parts of our daily lives.
For the record, BMW has also developed a two-man bobsled for the Sochi Winter Olympics a few couple years ago and a racing wheelchair for the Rio Paralympics. It’s nice to see the brand contributing to the sports world like this, and I hope there is a lot more to come.