Formula 1 cars will sport 360-degree onboard cameras in 2018, as Liberty Media continues to explore ways to improve the spectacle for worldwide television audiences.
The sport pioneered onboard cameras in earnest in the 1980s which have improved in quality, size and resolution over subsequent decades, as well as with innovative camera positions.
Formula 1’s technology partner Tata Sports trialled 360° cameras at this year’s Singapore Grand Prix – one in the paddock and one trackside – to evaluate the speed of data transfer into a live TV feed.
Such technology has historically required a 30-second delay, rendering it useless in live sports broadcasting, however the speed of data transfer has improved significantly.
Roughly the size of a golf ball, the cameras will be mounted on top of the chassis in front of the new ‘Halo’ cockpit protection system, which will also be introduced in 2018. The move to a 360° camera and its placement will also counter concerns that the new-for-2018 Halo will significantly obstruct the view from the onboard cameras currently in use.
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