The FIA has announced the development of a cost-effective impact data recorder (IDR), which the governing body states will aid in reducing fatal incidents and improving the safety level of grassroots motorsport events.
Through a collaboration between the FIA’s safety department and UK-based Aim Technologies, the IDR has been produced at a price point that is said to be attainable by a wide range of teams and individuals. The FIA notes that due to the current price of accident data recorders (ADR) found in professional championships such as Formula 1, less than 1% of vehicles around the world are fitted with such technology.
Graham Stoker, FIA deputy president for sport, commented, “This is a remarkable opportunity to improve safety in grassroots sport worldwide. We have created an affordable data recorder using modern technology that can be used in any championship, and we want everyone in the pyramid to fit this to their competition vehicles. Ultimately, using an IDR has to become part of the safety system in the vehicle, like putting on gloves or wearing a helmet.”
The FIA safety department intends to use the recorded data from serious accidents to improve the survival rate in such crashes. So far, accident data recorded from incidents all over the world has shown that 99% of fatal crashes have occurred in grassroots motorsport, where no accident data is currently recorded. In turn, this makes it exceedingly hard for researchers to learn from these in order to improve survivability.
The IDR intends to fill this gap in amateur motorsport by helping teams to record data easily and cost-effectively. The unit weighs 12g and measures 6cm, making it unobtrusive in the cabin; installation is simple, requiring only adhesive. The unit is maintenance free, and the internal battery is stated to have a two-year lifespan and be capable of recording up to 80 incidents. All high g impact data is recorded alongside secondary impact data.
Complementing the IDR, users will be able to access and download impact data through a secure mobile app where recordings are stored on a cloud server. The app will also enable users to input additional information relevant to the impact data. As well as increasing motorsport safety, the IDR offers the possibility of lower insurance costs and increased track time.
Adam Baker, FIA safety director, said, “By utilizing recent advancements in consumer electronics we have been able to achieve a very low-cost device, making it possible for widescale adoption in grassroots competition. We encourage all ASNs to integrate this innovative new data recorder into their range of safety devices.”