It has been announced this morning that a new high-speed camera destined to provide driver footage and data in the event of an accident will be tested in the very near future in Formula One
The new on-board camera which has been developed by Magnetti Marelli, the USB stick-sized device, which the FIA intends to make mandatory from 2016 shall be fitted to the front of the cockpit and will look back at the driver.
The camera’s technology will record at 400 frames a second for up to 90 minutes before it starts a new loop. Valuable information shall be stored as telemetry data into a car’s black box and help engineers precisely determine a force and point of impact.
According to the FIA, the concept should greatly help with the analysis and investigation of any eventual accident or incident; for example such as Fernando Alonso’s pre-season testing mishap in Barcelona earlier this season.
In a statement to the media this morning Andy Mellor, the FIA Institute’s technical advisor stated the following on the new on-board camera as follows:-
‘We’ve had onboard footage of crashes for a long time which has been useful. But of course it’s all low speed and it doesn’t really show what happened to the driver during the milliseconds of that impact event.’
It is clear that Mellor feels that this will be useful and the teams, the drivers and the FIA will feel the benefit of the new camera if it performs like it should. But as I have stated many times before, anything the FIA or the teams can do to make F1 safer for the drivers is welcomed by all; even if the threat lingers on in the background and they must never give up on trying to make it as safe as it can be either.