Drivers are already familiar with the established functions of the PTPA, whereby the app documents drives on demand. To do this, it accesses ECU information in the vehicle via a WiFi connection with Porsche Communication Management (PCM) and reads the vehicle position, speed, engine speed, braking force, steering angle, longitudinal and lateral acceleration and other telemetry data relevant to driving.
Since the focus in Free Drive mode is on documenting idyllic drives, videos are only recorded on a moment-by-moment basis, unlike on the circuit: when the vehicle sensors register a special driving event, a one-minute video is stored – 30 seconds before and 30 seconds after the moment.
Free Drive mode automatically recognises exceptional moments
Due to its close communication with the vehicle, the PTPA automatically detects such events. Dynamic driving manoeuvres as indicated by high braking pressure, strong accelerations or higher G-forces tell the app that a memorable moment is taking place. The driver also has the opportunity to manually mark notable moments to capture them on video. The PTPA combines the recorded videos with media on the smartphone if desired. For example, it can incorporate photos and video clips taken during a break in driving to document the trip in all its facets. Since Free Drive mode is not aimed at optimising personal track performance, the PTPA’s far-reaching analysis capabilities are reserved for the race track.
Brand ambassador and test driver Jörg Bergmeister has tested what such documentation can look like. The Leverkusen native brings back breathtaking footage and a clear conclusion from his trip to Berchtesgaden: “On the race track, it's all about lap times and direct competition. Here on the Rossfeld Panoramastrasse, I can just enjoy the drive without any pressure at all. With the new Free Drive function, spectacular moments are automatically recorded. Later on, I can simply pull up the documented drives in the app and revisit those moments.
With Free Drive mode, the PTPA extends its scope to public roads and integrates the functionalities of the Off-road Precision app. The display of live information in Apple CarPlay while driving has been enhanced for Free Drive mode. The PTPA also has additional informational material in the form of texts and videos. Customers can, for example, access briefings on race tracks, tips on braking points, and in-depth explanations on driving dynamics. There are also tips for driving on unpaved terrain from the Off-road Precision app. The familiar functions of the PTPA, such as the analysis function for track driving, remain unchanged.
The app is available for Apple iOS (iOS 14 and up) and Android operating systems (Android 8 and up) and can be downloaded free of charge from the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.