General Motors Performance Data Recorder Technology
The Performance Data Recorder (PDR) is a General Motors technology that enables users to record high-definition video, with telemetry overlays, of their driving experiences on and off the track, while also providing an analysis of the run.
Developed to provide a more rewarding driving experience, PDR is an industry-first system that integrates video, audio, and motorsport-inspired telemetry recording capability. The system produces HD-quality videos that can be reviewed in the car when parked or transferred to a personal computer for sharing via social media. In addition, data can be transferred to Cosworth Toolbox telemetry software, which is similar to that used by Corvette Racing, to improve the driver’s techniques and lap times.
How It Works
The Performance Data Recorder includes three major components all seamlessly integrated into the vehicle’s interior:
- 720p high-definition camera mounted within the windshield header trim that records the driver’s point-of-view through the windshield
- A dedicated microphone in the cabin for recording audio
- Self-contained telemetry recorder that uses a dedicated GPS receiver operating at 5 hertz (cycles) per second. That is five times faster than the vehicle’s in-dash navigation system, allowing more precise positioning and corner traces. The recorder is also hard-wired into the vehicle’s Controller Area Network (CAN) to access vehicle information ranging from engine speed and transmission-gear selection to braking force and steering-wheel angle.
- Dedicated SD-card slot for recording and transferring video and vehicle data. Recording time depends on the capacity of the memory card, but an 8-gigabyte card can record approximately 200 minutes, while a 32-GB card can store up to about 800 minutes — more than 13 hours of driving time.
“The Performance Data Recorder combines the ability to record and share drive videos with the power of a professional-level motorsports telemetry system,” says Tadge Juechter, Corvette chief engineer. “Drivers can easily record and share their experiences driving down the Tail of the Dragon or lapping Road Atlanta. In addition, with the included telemetry software, users can analyze their laps in incredible detail and find opportunities to improve their driving and lap times.”
The PDR system can record video with three data overlay options, each rendered in real time:
- Track Mode: shows the maximum level of data on the screen, including speed, rpm, g-force, a location-based map, lap time and more.
- Sport Mode: shows fewer details on the overlay but includes key data including speed and g-force
- Touring Mode: simply records and displays video and audio of the drive with no data overlay
- Performance Mode: records performance metrics, such as 0 to 60 mph acceleration, 1/4-mile speed and elapsed time, and 0-100-0 mph runs
The video can be viewed on the vehicle’s display when the car is parked, or downloaded to a computer for further editing and sharing video via social media sites.
Cosworth Toolbox Integration
The Performance Data Recorder, or PDR, system was developed with Cosworth, the British motorsports-engineering company that supplies the data acquisition and telemetry electronics system for the Corvette Racing team. The collaboration gives users who want a more in-depth understanding of their performance the ability to open their PDR vehicle data in the “Cosworth Toolbox” software, which combines Cosworth’s professional-level motorsport data analysis with an easy-to-use graphic interface.
The Cosworth Toolbox application overlays recorded laps on a Bing-enabled satellite map of the track, and compares selected laps in detail for any requested point on the drive. Comparisons include corner traces, vehicle speed, and cornering force to help drivers improve their driving consistency and ultimately their lap times.
“The ability to review laps between track sessions can identify immediate adjustments for quicker laps in the next session,” says Corvette chief engineer Tadge Juechter, further adding that the Cosworth Toolbox software is “… like having a 32-GB crew chief trackside providing you with real-time feedback to improve your driving skills.”
PDR was announced on January 5, 2014 at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Nevada for the 2015 Chevrolet Corvette C7 Stingray.
The Performance Data Recorder debuted on the 2015 Chevrolet Corvette C7. Since then, it has become available in the following vehicles:
- Cadillac ATS-V (first-generation)
- Cadillac CTS-V (third-generation)
- Chevrolet Camaro (sixth-generation, 2017 model year and newer)
- Standard on 2017 Chevrolet Camaro 2LT with 1LE package
- Standard on 2017 Chevrolet Camaro 1SS with 1LE package
- Standard on 2017 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1
- Chevrolet Corvette C7:
- Corvette Stingray
- Corvette Z06
- Corvette C7 Grand Sport