April 3,2012 – Woodcliff Lake, USA (Techreleased) -BMW, the Official Mobility Partner of the United States Olympic Committee, today announced the completion and hand-off of its first Olympic technology project, a velocity measurement system created in collaboration with sports scientists at the USOC and USA Track & Field. Bryan Clay, 2008 Olympic gold medalist in decathlon, tested the system during the development process.
Nearly one year in development at the BMW Technology Office in Mountain View, Calif., the system captures an athlete in motion and automatically calculates performance metrics for coaches to use in training long jumpers. Beginning today, the technology will be a permanent fixture at the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, Calif., and used by athletes hoping to compete in the London 2012 Olympic Games.
By measuring and providing real-time analysis of three key parameters in the execution of a long jump – horizontal approach velocity, vertical take-off velocity and take-off angle – the system is completely unique in its offering to coaches and athletes in training scenarios. BMW developed the technology in response to a real-time data need identified by USA Track & Field, one of four national governing bodies (NGB) sponsored by BMW.
“BMW stands for performance, efficiency and innovation. Drawing on these core values, our engineers have combined automotive engineering expertise with advanced technologies to develop a system that will drive athletic performance and provide real world benefits to elite athletes,” said Dan Creed, Vice President, Marketing, BMW of North America. “We are thrilled to be making a meaningful contribution to Team USA beyond a financial commitment.”
To capture and analyze athlete motion, the velocity measurement system utilizes advanced stereo-vision technology and machine vision software algorithms not unlike those currently being tested in BMW’s research vehicles to improve automotive active safety systems, such as object and pedestrian detection.
“As a decathlete, my reality is one in which centimeters and thousandths of a second are the difference between an Olympic gold medal and no medal,” said BMW Performance Team Member Clay. “The feedback this tool is able to provide immediately, during a practice as opposed to days afterward, will enable me to make minor adjustments to my jumps that could equate to significant performance gains.”
With fewer than three months to go until the U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Track & Field in Eugene, Ore., USA Track & Field will have the opportunity to utilize the velocity measurement system in the lead up to these races, the London 2012 Olympic Games and beyond.
“The amount of real-time data presented by this tool will help coaches and sports scientists to make better decisions and maximize the efficacy of athlete training sessions,” said USATF Chief of Sport Performance Benita Fitzgerald Mosley. “This is of tremendous benefit to our athletes and coaches at the Training Center. We’re grateful to BMW for the level of commitment they’ve demonstrated to our partnership and our individual athletes, and we look forward to utilizing the tool for years to come.”