In a pinch-me-I-must-be-dreaming experience, imagine getting to drive a Lexus RC F, an IS 500 F SPORT Performance, and an LC 500, mastering vehicle control at the Lexus Performance Driving School (LPDS) on the legendary WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, California. After taming the 2.24 mile track— conquering the 10-story drop that is the Corkscrew, proud of what you have accomplished—you’d obviously want to share your experience with your family and friends.
LPDS is helping to share those experiences—with some 2022 technology making it even more memorable.
Following the track experience, guests are now given a unique digital token—known as an NFT (non-fungible token)—that showcases each individual’s performance in class and video footage from their time behind the wheel.
Already, more than 130 LPDS participants received their NFT certificates upon completing class in Monterey this past August. These unique NFTs incorporated personalized footage, event details, and vehicle data supplied by Toyota Connected, an independent software center of excellence within the greater Toyota ecosystem, rendered on the Polygon platform.
Lexus Performance Driving School
Each LPDS event provides guests with the opportunity to drive select Lexus high-performance vehicles at some of the most iconic racecourses in the United States. With approximately 40 daily participants, each driver is taken through a one-day curriculum that includes autocross lapping, a skidpad experience, and lead-follow exercises on the main track.
Since the program’s inception in 2018, LPDS has grown into a popular destination for both skilled racing drivers and entry-level, everyday drivers, providing a chance for all to experience the combination of performance and luxury for which Lexus is known. As the scope for LPDS has increased, so has the desire to add more unique elements to the program, with the newest being this NFT, serving as a digital completion certificate.
A Unique And Very Personal Memento
The LPDS is the first venue of its type to provide guests with a living memory package from their high-performance driving experience. It’s also possibly the first major automaker-led effort to provide an NFT that utilizes live vehicle data as part of this digital piece of artwork. The 45-second video participants receive is packaged on the Polygon platform, where guests can mint their NFTs to own permanently.
“Lexus strives to provide its guests with one-of-a-kind experiences, and I can think of no better way to commemorate an amazing day spent at the Lexus Performance Driving School than with a personalized NFT,” said Vinay Shahani, vice president of Lexus Marketing. “Instead of a curated timeline of retouched photos, the NFT offers an authentic and truly unique way to share one’s on-track accomplishments and opens the door to attend and participate in exclusive Lexus events in the future.”
Following this pilot program, Lexus has begun working on ways to provide LPDS NFT owners with potential benefits in the future. While exact details for the added value are not finalized, discussions have included access to motorsports-related events or brand engagement opportunities, as well as possible additional value at future Lexus Performance Driving School dates, including Masterclass.
With the LPDS NFT, guests are provided a snapshot of key vehicle analytics. Measuring statistics like average speed, g-force achieved, lap times, among many others, this new offering allows drivers to share their results directly to key social media platforms. Going one step further, all students are captured throughout the day by an on-site film crew, with footage of their experience included in the final product, adding another level of customization to their takeaway.
“Technology has allowed authentic experiences to be translated from the real world to augmented and virtual experiences like the metaverse,” said Steve Basra, CEO and president of Toyota Connected North America. “We’re elated to be able to use our software and data expertise to provide Lexus guests with a living memory that captures a thrilling moment they can share with friends and fellow driving enthusiasts – now and for years to come.”
More than three-quarters of the weekend’s total participants registered to view and receive their personal NFT from Laguna Seca, with more than 60 guests minting their NFTs to the Polygon blockchain in the days immediately following the event. These individuals are now part of an elite circle of drivers that can reap the rewards, celebrate their successes and, perhaps, chart more new territory as they avail themselves with the technology and opportunity. It turns out that membership certainly does have its privileges.
While certainly a trial for now, the Lexus NFT program marks the beginning of something more, with boundless opportunities available for those who have or will obtain these exclusive tokens. Where will it evolve from here? We’ll surely find out in the 2023 Lexus Performance Driving School season and beyond.
For more information about the Lexus Performance Driving School, please visit here.
Originally published October 12, 2022