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Heads up displays

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Projecting information directly into a driver’s line of sight allows them to process it up to 50 times faster than normal. This is due mainly to the shorter eye movement required and the fact that their attention can remain focused on the road ahead. Such technology features in everyday life for some drivers, as it is currently available in some Audi, BMW and Mazda models, for example. With market research predicting that 9% of all new roadcars will feature a HUD (heads-up display)...

Dynamics optimisation and construction of Formula One brake pedals

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A driver’s ‘feel’ for braking is perhaps one of the most critical aspects of racing. As much as the talk of brake disc/pad materials, it’s also the kinematics of the brake pedal that are crucial to giving drivers what they needs at their foot.  Fundamentally unchanged in its design for decades, the brake pedal is at in essence a simple part, being a pivoting lever with a plate for the driver’s foot and a bearing housing midway up the lever for the bias...


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Since the post-1993 ban on active technologies, the FIA has been reluctant to allow more forms of electronically controlled systems. Yet for Formula One, in 2014 it decided to allow a brake-by-wire system. Rather than this being a performance-based rule change, the decision was to account for the greater degree of energy recovery available through the rear axle without upsetting the brake balance. When the energy recovery system (ERS) is in harvesting mode, there’s a drag applied...

The accelerator pedal

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According to the regulations the accelerator pedal is, “The only means by which the driver may control acceleration torque to the driven wheels.”  No longer is the pedal simply a means of directly moving the throttles on the engine, as the rules now state that the driver demands torque from the pedal, with the ECU decoupling the traditional relationship between the pedal and throttle with a map. Such maps are now restricted to tyre type, so just three maps are allowed for...

The start procedure

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Since launch control was banned for 2008, it’s been down to the driver to manipulate the clutch and throttle to gain the perfect start – albeit along the way being aided by a number of passive electronic systems. With the clutch controlled via two paddles on rotary sensors behind the steering wheel and the fly-by-wire throttle pedal, there can be no active intervention on the part of the ECU, simply a linear response between the driver controls and the clutch/throttle....