An in-helmet camera was tested during Free Practice at the 8 Hours of Bahrain finale with Toyota GAZOO Racing’s Brendon Hartley and Sebastien Buemi.
‘Driver’s Eye’ specifies a micro camera positioned at eye-level, on the protective padding inside the driver’s racing helmet.
The POV camera is small and light at 10 mm in diameter and 2.5 grams in weight.
Bell Racing Helmets and Zeronoise (part of the Racing Force Group) collaborated for the development of the ‘Drivers’ Eye’.
Brendon Hartley and Sebastien Buemi of the #8 Toyota GR010 Hybrid tested the first WEC in-helmet camera during Free Practice.
“It’s great how compact and light the device is,” said Hartley.
“While driving you don’t really feel it, and you forget that you’re carrying a camera at all. The footage is very cool.
“This will let the fans experience a whole new dimension and will give them a good idea of what we experience while driving the Hypercars.”
— TOYOTA GAZOO Racing WEC (@TGR_WEC) November 6, 2021
This is not the first time a POV in-helmet camera has been used recently in an FIA-sanctioned championship, since Formula E introduced it at the 2020 Santiago E-Prix, and Formula 1 used it earlier this year at the Belgian, Italian and US Grand Prix.
In F1, a POV camera was used in 2011 but the technology has since improved in both compactness and footage quality.
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Alex Miotto Haristos of Racing Force Group, gave his thoughts on what was the first POV camera to give perspective inside a closed-cockpit Hypercar.
“The development of Driver’s Eye required very eclectic work, starting with safety regulations, and combining electronics and helmet know-how with the aim of providing something new, normally inaccessible, the raw and intimate vision of what happens on the racetrack from the inside of the helmet.
“Now, this technology also embraces the WEC, bringing new emotions to one of the most prestigious championships in the world.”
Efforts will continue to develop the technology as the FIA look to use ‘Driver’s Eye’ on a more regular basis as an insight for the fans.