Yaris WRC “EchoCam” Connects with Fans – Toyota Gazoo Racing Teams with Microsoft

By Steve & Tamami Laser

Fans have been taking photos and videos of racing cars for decades. Now it’s time for the cars to return the favor. Toyota Gazoo Racing and its tech partner, Microsoft, are launching the first trial of the new “EchoCam” service at the Neste Rally Finland.

Toyota says EchoCam is a new service that connects fans’ photos of the Toyota Gazoo Racing Yaris WRC and a video shot from the car’s point-of-view using the cloud service Microsoft Azure.

Each Yaris WRC will be equipped with a dedicated car’s point-of-view on-board camera to capture video footage of the fans alongside selected special stages as the rally cars pass by.

In addition, fans in designated spots will have the opportunity to enter an “EchoCam Photo Booth.” As the Yaris WRC cars pass by, they can take photos with their own smartphones and upload favorite images to the EchoCam website.

In return Toyota says the Yaris WRC will provide feedback as EchoCam generates a video clip (based on time codes) of the fan captured from the car’s point-of-view at the exact same moment of when the photograph was taken.

EchoCam, part of the collaboration between Toyota Gazoo Racing and Microsoft Co. Ltd., is an innovative new rally watching experience to connect racing fans and rally cars.

Toyota Gazoo Racing also plans to use Microsoft’s technologies in the future to develop Yaris WRC data analysis platforms and make use of systems to share information about the team’s activities.

Toyota says that Rally Finland is famous for its fast gravel stages through forests, with large jumps and crests. Many are located on corners, making the positioning of the car for the perfect take-off crucial to carrying speed through the bend. Stages are mostly wide with a smooth and compact gravel surface.

Toyota Gazoo Racing plans to take on the fastest event of the season with its trio of home-grown drivers, Jari-Matti Latvala, Juho Hänninen and Esapekka Lappi.

Rally Finland is also a home event for team principal Tommi Mäkinen, and one that he won four times during his career behind the wheel. Latvala has the chance to match that achievement, having claimed victory in 2010, ’14 and ’15. Hänninen finished in the top six on his last two attempts in 2014 and ’15, while Lappi has come eighth overall in the past two years while also dominating the WRC2 category.

For more information visit Toyota Gazoo Racing.

Note: All Information including connected services and racing schedules is subject to change without notice.

News source, photos and video courtesy Toyota (GB) PLC, Toyota Gazoo Racing and Toyota Motor Corp.

Story (commentary) © 2017 CarNichiWa.com