F1 »

BMW develops head-up display for Ralf's helmet.

In the run-up to the Hungarian Grand Prix, the BMW Technology Office takes the wraps off an innovative Formula One product.

A miniature head-up display system in the size of 6x8 millimeters integrated in Ralf Schumacher's helmet will enable a wide range of information and messages to be relayed to the driver.

With this "visual information window" BMW is setting new standards for safety in Formula One. It means racing drivers can register visual information while still paying full attention to their driving.

Aided by this innovative technology, the driver can be alerted, for example, to an accident on a certain stretch of the track or a patch of oil in a particular turn.

"With this device, BMW has taken a further important step forward on the safety front," says Ralf Schumacher of the BMW WiliamsF1 Team. The display system was devised by the BMW Technology Office based in Silicon Valley's Palo Alto in collaboration with a local partner company specializing in electronics and with the German helmet manufacturer Schuberth.

Ralf will use the mini head-up display in his helmet starting with the forthcoming season.

This pioneering technology opens up an entirely new channel of communication between the pits and the driver. A module integrated in the helmet stores various messages and images in a data set, which can be called up from the pits and displayed to the driver.

The mini head-up display projects the relevant "transparent" image through the visor on a level with the front of the car. The driver registers the information without being distracted from what is happening on the track.

The BMW mini head-up display has a high-resolution true color display based on active matrix liquid crystal display (AMLCD) technology. The key function of the display is found in a unique lens element known as a free form prism (FFP). Thus the driver is able to see the picture pin sharp.

Formula One as an ideal application and test area:

The mini head-up display enables the projection of any number of optical messages into the driver's direct field of vision.

For Formula One testing, the miniature display was integrated into the chin cup of a modified Schuberth RF-1 racing helmet. Additional walls and padding were used in accordance with guidelines from the SNELL Foundation (the helmet safety organization).

The system is located in the peripheral vision field of the driver's dominant eye. Thanks to the unique design of the system, the information is projected into the driver's field of vision without his having to actually look at the display.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Ralf Schumacher - BMW WilliamsF1
Andre Lotterer - Caterham F1
Andre Lotterer - Caterham F1
Youngest F1 drivers Infographic [credit: Crash.net]
Andre Lotterer - TOM`S Petronas [pic credit: Super Formula]
Andre Lotterer - TOM`S Petronas [pic credit: Super Formula]
Lewis Hamilton, James Corden
Motorsport Family Tree Infographic
Margaret Jennings
Marussia, Sauber
Motorsport Family Tree Infographic - Crash.net
Max Verstappen becomes Red Bull Junior   [pic courtesy Red Bull media]
Max Verstappen becomes Red Bull Junior   [pic courtesy Red Bull media]
Alain Prost (FR), Marlboro McLaren International MP4/2. Monaco Grand Prix, 03/06/1984, Monte Carlo.
The Marlboro McLaren Team celebrate as Alain Prost (FR), McLaren MP4/2, takes the chequered flag. Dutch Grand Prix, Zandvoort, Holland, 26/08/1984.
Parabolica gravel trap replaced with tarmac run-off at Monza
Pic credit: Twitter
Achille Varzi [pic credit: Image Troves]
Daniel Ricciardo - Red Bull Racing

Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.

Mac Cooper - Unregistered

May 11, 2013 11:09 PM

Hello, I'm an older man interested in dirt circle track racing. I am tone deaf and cannot hear the track tower giving instructions through my radio reciever. I am very interested in the head-up display helmet if it could interface with my radio reciever. I think this is a great innovation to the safety of auto racing. Mac

© 1999 - 2014 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.