FIA Launches Innovative Low-Cost Impact Data Recorder


Major safety advancement will improve accident investigation and ultimately help reduce fatal accidents in grass roots motor sport worldwide.

The FIA has developed a new low-cost Impact Data Recorder (IDR), a major advancement in its effort to reduce fatal accidents around the world and improve safety in grass roots motor sport.

Developed by the FIA Safety Department in collaboration with AiM Technologies in the UK, the new IDR is a fraction of the price of the current Accident Data Recorder (ADR), which is used in top-flight championships such as Formula One and the World Rally Championship. Due to the cost of ADRs, they are currently only fitted to less than one per-cent of racing cars around the world.

The FIA is encouraging all National Sporting Authorties (ASNs) to incorporate these devices into their grass roots championships. Graham Stoker, FIA Deputy President for Sport, said: “This is a remarkable opportunity to improve safety in grass roots 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.”

One of the primary objectives of the FIA Safety Department is to learn through the study of serious accidents how best to reduce the risk of fatal injuries, and to do this researchers rely on data to determine the most effective way to improve survivability.

Worldwide accident data collected by the FIA shows that 99 per cent of fatal accidents occur in amateur level motor sport and contain no accident data recording, which makes it very difficult to attain a detailed understanding of the crash sequence and to learn from an accident to improve safety for the future.

This is why the FIA Safety Department developed a product that can easily record data to analyse accidents but at a very low cost to the competitor. It was also designed to be easy to install and can be operated without the need of special technical support.

The result is a small and novel device, measuring just 6cm and weighing 12 grams, that will not interrupt drivers. Housed in a smart polymer casing, the IDR requires no wiring or mounting with its simple ‘fit and forget’ adhesion installation. It requires no maintenance and its internal battery is capable of recording over 80 incidents during its two-year lifespan. The device instantly records all high G impact data and is also programmed to capture all secondary impact data.

The IDR is part of a system that will include a secure access mobile application, allowing impact data to be downloaded from the IDR, stored securely on a cloud server and then distributed to the owning ASN. The app enables the user to not only download the impact data but also submit supplementary information such as driver details, vehicle details, incident photographs and additional information. The reporting functionality offered by the app allows the ASN to gain a better perspective of every incident through more thorough incident reporting and accompanying impact information, all being held in one database.

IDRs offers many benefits to ASNs, circuits and drivers, including the possibility of reduced insurance premiums, more track time and identifying trends that may lead to the refinement of cars, circuits and safety equipment.

Adam Baker, FIA Safety Director, said: “By utilising recent advancements in consumer electronics we have been able to achieve a very low-cost device, making it possible for widescale adoption in grass roots competition. We encourage all ASNs to integrate this innovative new data recorder into their range of safety devices.”


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