IndyCar to Implement New Safety Technology in 2021

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Photo Credit: Chris Owens, IMS Photo / Courtesy of IndyCar

The NTT IndyCar Series has partnered with EM Motorsport to provide new safety technology to help quickly and accurately provide data about the forces on cars and drivers during a crash.

EM Motorsport, who provide electronic safety devices for series and events including Formula 1, Formula 2, the 24 Hours of Le Mans and more, will be providing IndyCar with new Accident Data Recorders (ADR) and Ear Plug Accelerometers (EPA).

The ADR system uses internal accelerometers and gyroscopes as well as a Controller Area Network (CAN) interface to capture “at the scene” accident data. This will help aid crash analysis after races and future safety research. The new ADR system is located under the the driver’s seat in the center balance of the car, and is smaller and lighter than the one currently used by IndyCar.

EM Motorsport’s ADR4 device will help collect data about accidents as they happen. (Photo Courtesy of EM Motorsports)

The EPA is a small device that will be able to fit inside the driver’s ear plugs and will help provide information about the drivers condition during a crash. The device’s data collection will contain the driver’s radio communications, as well as an accelerometer that will track the speed and movement of the driver’s head during the collision.

IndyCar made the decision to use the ADR and EPA systems after successful tests during the 2020 season, and becomes another swift addition to the growing safety measures put in by IndyCar. In the 2020 season, the series debuted the Red Bull-designed aeroscreen to great success.

This partnership will also help EM Motorsport continue developing new safety technology for other world-class series. Data collected by IndyCar, along with the other series, will allow EM to see what areas of safety technology still need improvement.

These devices will be in the cars for the first race of the season, the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama, on 18 April 2021 at Barber Motorsports Park.

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Lifelong sports junkie, currently studying Broadcast Journalism at Hofstra University. Lead writer for Indycar at The Checkered Flag.
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