Audi Adds Periscope Video System To R18 E-Tron Quattro Le Mans Prototype Race Car
"We do have an A-pillar and the fender and the wide tires that is not perfect to see from the driver's eye line," said Audi Sport LMP project leader Chris Reinke. "They can't permanently view the complete front of the track, let's say. In front, yes, but not the complete side. We can't make and homologate a new monocoque to improve only this issue, so we will have a system which we will introduce at Sebring which will make up for that."
The solution involved fixing a forward-facing video camera placed right on top of the air intake. The camera feeds two video streams to displays in the pillars. Audi calls this system a "periscope," because of its similarity to the submarine observation apparatus. Surprisingly, the cameras and displays come from Audi's production cars. In this case, tech transferred from production car to racecar with the lane assist development team lending a hand.
"We said [to the development team]: we have an issue, we don't have ideal front view, what can we do? That's where the system comes from. We adopted a system from there; their camera systems, and eventually even the screens will be in the new racecar in Sebring," said Reinke.
Audi ended up dominating the race (just like at last year's Le Mans) taking a 1-2 sweep in the final outing for P1 cars. Clearly, technology plays a big role in winning.
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