RaceCapture lets enthusiasts obsess over every little driving detail

Autosport Labs RaceCapture

Autosport Labs, a Seattle-based company that created the open source RaceCapture/Pro data logging system for race cars, Kickstarted its latest product: RaceCapture and Podium.

Unlike its previous Kickstarted product, the new Race Capture is a simple dongle that connects to a car's OBD-II port (the diagnostic port in 1996 and newer cars) to read the car's controller area network (CAN) data bus (a vehicle's internal communication system) for engine stats combined with integrated GPS, six-axis accelerometer and gyro sensors.

There's two versions of the RaceCapture dongle available: one works with 2008 and newer vehicles with CAN bus, a high-speed in-vehicle data bus, and legacy OBD-II. The legacy dongle tricks RaceCapture into thinking the car has a high-speed CAN bus, albeit it still operates at slower speeds than CAN.

RaceCapture dongle

RaceCapture connects to your smartphone via Wi-Fi for high-speed communications. The company claims Bluetooth isn't fast enough for motorsports use and is tougher to certify for iOS whereas Wi-Fi is universal for both platforms so your newfangled iPhone 6S and Nexus 6P will work with it.

Seasoned racers can use RaceCapture to record your laps around the track and overlay it onto the track map to see your driving line immediately after finishing the lap. The RaceCapture app predicts your lap time according to your driving line so you can instantly see how driving changes affects the outcome.

Video recording capabilities are available in the RaceCapture app to let you record your laps with the driving data. The RaceCapture app uses your smartphone camera to record video so you don't need any additional devices.

Podium is a social network that works with the RaceCapture hardware to let owners broadcast their lap times and performance data for friends and followers to see in real-time. By using the RaceCapture dongle with Podium, car forum and Facebook group members can challenge each other with raw data all across the world and force keyboard warriors and spec junkies to stop posing.

Autosport Labs seeks $50,000 of funding and currently at $8,313 with 61 backers. Pledging starts at $20 for support but $99 will get you a RaceCapture dongle when it ships in the spring. Retail pricing starts at $275 when it ships, which is a good value considering established solutions with slower sample rates such as the VBOX Sport starts at $429.