By BMW Motorsport
August 14 2002
|Heads-up-Display for Ralf|
|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 millimetres 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 Schumacher will use the
mini head-up display in his helmet starting with the forthcoming season.
Tests are scheduled to be completed in 2002.
|The BMW mini head-up display
has a high-resolution true colour 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. "The eye very
quickly gets used to this small spot and ignores it as if it were a tiny
insect on the windscreen," explains Jürgen Brügl, project engineer at the
BMW office in Palo Alto.
|This information is relayed
straight to the display. Similarly, information on the engine management
(e.g. "oil pressure low") can be sent directly to the driver without having
to go through the pits. It all helps to save precious time.
Within the ConnectedDrive
philosophy of BMW Group it is also possible to transfer the head-up-display
technology from the Formula 1 into series production. With ConnectedDrive
the BMW Group connects drivers with their vehicles and with the surrounding
traffic management to increase safety, efficiency and driving comfort.
c/- BMW Motorsport