Case Study
Case Study - SpeedZone • Malibu • Palace Entertainment
Client Areas: Theme Parks • Entertainment

Racing at SpeedZone Los Angeles

Since 1990, DataPlex has been providing strategic consulting and product development services to Malibu Grand Prix, now a division of Palace Entertainment, and its high-end SpeedZone speed-infused theme parks. A SpeedZone consists of two karting tracks, two Grand Prix tracks and a multi-lane dragster venue.

In 1990, DataPlex engineers designed a state-of-the-art karting timing system that was deployed throughout the United States, Canada, Asia and Europe. The timing systems, still in use today, gauge kart lap times, display them on a large scoreboard, and print performance tickets for their racing customers.

In 1997, DataPlex principal Harry Tarnoff became Malibu Grand Prix's technology strategist and completed a technical feasibility plan for a new type of high-energy theme park, now known as SpeedZone. Within only a few months, DataPlex engineers had designed all the necessary harsh-environment hardware circuitry and DataPlex programmers had developed PC applications for controlling the different types of racing venues. Three Speedzone were built, one in Los Angeles, another in Dallas, Texas and a third near Atlanta, Georgia.

SpeedZone Karting

The timing system has a number of innovative features. One significant design feature is a distributed network of electronics so that modules can be located closer to the respective devices with which they interface, saving time on installation, reducing the cost of equipment and increasing reliability. The modules include electronic scoreboard display, ticket printing, traffic light operation, and vehicle tracking and speed control.

Additional features are kiosk and RFID-based payments and a built-in vehicle management database that accumulates metrics on kart usage and automatically flags vehicles to come into the service bay for preventative maintenance.

Today, DataPlex continues to service Malibu Grand Prix and SpeedZone locations, makes enhancements to the systems, and provides other technical services to many Palace Entertainment locations.

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