New Garmin Catalyst is a digital coach that promises to improve your laptimes

03 September 2020 - 08:50 By Denis Droppa
The must-have accessory for aspirant Lewis Hamiltons. Picture: SUPPLIED
The must-have accessory for aspirant Lewis Hamiltons. Picture: SUPPLIED

Garmin has launched a digital driving coach that aims to improve your laptimes.

Aimed at racing drivers and track-day enthusiasts, the new Garmin Catalyst differs from other GPS lap timers by providing real-time audible coaching to help drivers achieve their full potential on the track.

The device uses True Track Positioning technology to generate a car’s racing line. It gathers data as the car’s being driven, identifies the fastest racing line, and coaches the driver on where improvements can be made to bring out their inner Lewis Hamilton.

Its advantage is its immediacy. Instead of having to wait until the end of the track session to trawl through telemetry, the driver will be prompted, while out on the circuit, with instructions like: “Next left, turn in earlier” or “Next right, brake less.”

Garmin Catalyst generates the user’s theoretical fastest lap by stitching together the fastest times from each sector.

“This shows users their fastest achievable time based on lines actually driven and gives them an optimal lap they can truly achieve,” says Adam Spence, Garmin product manager and Garmin Pit Crew team lead.

After a track session, Catalyst provides immediate analysis on the device’s touchscreen display instead of drivers having to download data and analyse cumbersome graphs. Here they can instantly review in-depth performance data and view areas for improvement.

A camera captures 1080p HD video which can be played back on the device with time-synced overlays showing speed, lap data, and more. A preloaded global track database allows the Garmin Catalyst to be used on circuits around the world.

The device is designed to be mounted in cars and isn’t compatible with motorcycles.

Garmin Catalyst will be available in SA, with the local launch timing and pricing still to be confirmed.