Proposing new ideas and technological solutions, contributing to the evolution of existing technologies or suggesting different and alternative uses for these, through the aggregation function of the social network: Magneti Marelli Motorsport, the Magneti Marelli division dedicated to competitions, is launching an online collaborative platform for the generation of ideas called Magneti Marelli LapTime Club (www.laptimeclub.com, animated demo in the homepage).
LapTime Club aims to build a high-profile ‘social innovation community’, specifically for motorsport engineers and experts, but also for technology and electronics enthusiasts and for any discipline able to contribute innovation-related technical added value and creativity. This includes university students (e.g. studying engineering) or individuals from other fields that consider themselves technically competent to take on complex challenges and to contribute to achieving technological advanced solutions.
The objective of LapTime Club is to exploit the social environment and the passion for motorsport to stimulate creativity and innovation, which promotes the development of ideas, products and services that are effective for the world of racing, in a non self-referential manner, and to explore potential influences from other highly-specialised engineering sectors.
Users, potentially even with different technical backgrounds, are therefore able to use and develop their skills in a fruitful exchange of ideas and experience, in a new logic of ‘open innovation’, i.e. participatory and collaborative innovation.
The central theme of departure that triggered the idea of an open exchange on the Web was the evolution of Magneti Marelli’s ‘Wintax’ technology, the telemetry analysis tool used in racing - capable of displaying the results of over 3,000 vehicle performance parameters - around which a number of open discussions and ‘challenges’ have already been launched in the community, thus encouraging collaboration, dialogue and ideas.
It was in fact Wintax that was the springboard for the ‘LapTime Club’ project which began from an initial phase of ‘listening’ on the Web. Following this, sixteen influencers were identified, who were then involved in a workshop that elaborated the idea of the opening of a high-profile community specifically dedicated to product open innovation.
The pilot phase has just been completed and involved an international sample of 126 selected users, of which 20% are Magneti Marelli staff and 80% are technical experts from the automotive and racing world. The interaction has generated and developed 68 ideas around 7 challenges, with over 550 comments and ratings of the contributions made.
In order to access the ‘LapTime Club’ laboratory, registration is required at the website http://www.laptimeclub.com. Once registered, it is possible to log on to the social environment and to see the challenges posed as well as to collaborate, proposing ideas, commenting and voting on the ideas of the other members of the community. In the last few challenges proposed, the users discussed themes such as Internet of Things (IoT), mobile racing data analytics, WinTAX new features, engine efficiency & low-carbon systems.
The ideas proposed are evaluated through a system of rating and reward, and a Magneti Marelli jury will select the best ones, in addition to the users that are most active in relation to innovation.
A short animated illustration of the operation of the LapTime Club community can be viewed at the following address: http://www.laptimeclub.com/video-magneti-marelli-motorsport-laptime-club/