PressClub USA · Article.
BMW Develops Head-Up Display For Ralf Schumacher's F1 Helmet
30.09.2002 Press Release
Indianapolis, IN, September 28th, 2002... Following qualifying for the 2002 SAP United States Grand Prix at Indianapolis Motor Speedway today, the BMW Technology Office and the BMW Group's design firm DesignworksUSA demonstrated to the media an innovative miniature helmet-mounted head-up display system. Proposed for use in Formula One competition in 2003, this system will be integrated into BMW.Williams F1 driver Ralf Schumacher's helmet.
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World First From Silicon Valley Opens Up New Communication Paths And
Indianapolis, IN, September 28th, 2002... Following qualifying for
the 2002 SAP
United States Grand Prix at Indianapolis Motor Speedway today, the BMW
Technology Office and the BMW Group's design firm DesignworksUSA demonstrated
to the media an innovative miniature helmet-mounted head-up display system.
Proposed for use in Formula One competition in 2003, this system will be
integrated into BMW.Williams F1 driver Ralf Schumacher's helmet and will enable
a wide range of information and messages to be relayed to the driver. With the
design of this "visual information window" BMW strives to continue to set new
standards for safety in Formula One. Racing drivers will be able to receive
information visually while paying full attention to the road.
Aided by this innovative technology, the driver can be alerted, for
an accident on a certain stretch of the track or a patch of oil in a particular
turn. "With this device, BMW has taken a further important step forward on the
safety front," said Schumacher.
The display system was devised by the BMW Technology Office, based in
Valley, in collaboration with DesignworksUSA in Newbury Park, CA, Kopin Corp.,
a semiconductor manufacturer located in Taunton, Mass. and German helmet
manufacturer Schuberth. Tests are scheduled to be completed later this year.
This pioneering technology opens up an entirely new channel of
between the pits and the driver. A module integrated into the helmet stores
various messages and images in a data-set which can be called up from the pits
and displayed to the driver. The mini head-up display projects the relevant
"transparent" image through the visor. That image is level with the front of
the car. The driver receives the information without being distracted from what
is happening on the track.
The BMW mini head-up display has a high-resolution true color display
active matrix liquid crystal display (AMLCD) technology. The key function of
the display is found in a unique lens element known as a free form prism (FFP).
Thus the image is crystal clear.
Formula One as an ideal application and test area
The mini head-up display enables the projection of any number of
messages into the driver's direct field of vision. For Formula One testing, the
miniature display was integrated into the chin cup of a modified Schuberth RF-1
racing helmet. Additional walls and padding were used in accordance with
guidelines from the SNELL Foundation (the helmet safety organization). The
system is located in the peripheral vision field of the driver's dominant eye.
Thanks to the unique design, the information is projected into the driver's
field of vision without his having to actually look at the display. "The eye
very quickly gets used to this small spot and ignores it as if it were a tiny
insect on the windscreen," explained Jürgen Brügl, project engineer at the BMW
Technology Office in Silicon Valley.
With the help of the miniature display, the F1 driver is fed a wide
information on the race and on safety precautions straight from the pits. It
means the driver is constantly informed of his position in the race and can
receive instructions from the pits during a race or in training, such as "go
faster", "come into the box" or "oil in turn 2". He is kept up to date on flag
signals and emergency procedures by means of messages such as "pit traffic" or
"oil pump". Moreover, it allows the crew chief or instructor in the pits to
send the driver a message through bi-directional telemetry. This information is
relayed straight to the display. Similarly, information on the engine
management (e.g. "oil pressure low") can be sent directly to the driver without
having to go through the pits. It all helps to save precious time.
Within the ConnectedDrive philosophy of the BMW Group our goal is to
the head-up-display technology from Formula One into series production. With
ConnectedDrive the BMW Group connects drivers with their vehicles and with the
surrounding traffic management to increase safety, efficiency and driving
Network-style innovation management as the basis of technological
The integral head-up display was developed in the westernmost office of the BMW
Group's Research and Innovation Center (FIZ), in Silicon Valley, in cooperation
with the BMW Group's design studio DesignworksUSA and Kopin Corp. Since 1998,
16 associates - IT experts, logisticians, chemists and engineers from various
specialist fields - have been working in the Technology Office towards a common
objective, namely to ensure the fastest possible integration of innovative
technologies into BMW cars. "Thanks to our Technology Office we are in a
position to quickly harness the rapid developments in communications and
information technology in Silicon Valley for our applications," said Dr.
Burkhard Goeschel, BMW Group board member responsible for Development and
Purchasing. The BMW Technology Office specializes in highly innovative,
About the BMW Technology Office
The BMW Technology Office in Palo Alto, Calif., is the U.S. arm of
Research and Innovation Center (FIZ), located in Munich, Germany. It was
established in 1998 to help integrate the latest technologies into BMW cars as
quickly and efficiently as possible. The Office is surrounded in Silicon Valley
by the most innovative electronics and software companies.
BMW Group DesignworksUSA is an international design firm based in
Calif., with a branch office in Munich, Germany. BMW acquired Designworks in
1995, and provides BMW a direct connection to Southern California, a region
recognized for its influence in innovative and trend-setting design. By company
charter, the studio devotes half of its energies to BMW-related initiatives and
the other half to an eclectic client list representing diverse markets such as
transportation and travel, information and entertainment technologies,
lifestyle products and accessories, leisure goods and home and working
environment. Today, DesignworksUSA is headed by President Adrian van Hooydonk.
It features a culturally diverse workforce of over 100 designers, engineers,
model makers and advanced communications specialists, representing 15 nations.
About Kopin Corp.
Founded in 1984, Kopin (NASDAQ: KOPN) is pioneering the use of the
Engineering Process(tm) in consumer, communications and military technology.
The company supplies the world's largest electronics manufacturers and
government agencies with breakthrough semiconductor products that enhance the
delivery and presentation of voice, video and data. Kopin technology is
currently used in one-quarter of the world's cell phones and nearly one-third
of the world's camcorders and is the microdisplay standard for the U.S.
military. For more information, please visit Kopin's Web site at www.kopin.com.
CyberDisplay is a trademark of Kopin Corporation.
About Schuberth Helmets
Schuberth Helmet GmbH was founded in Brunswick, Germany, in 1922.
began with manufacturing helmet components and became a helmet maker in 1953.
Schuberth provides a wide range of products, including military helmets,
motorcycle helmets, police and riot control helmets, fire-fighter helmets, and
high-performance racing helmets. Schuberth invented the flip-open helmet
concept in 1978 and has since become the world's most innovative helmet
BMW Group In America
BMW of North America has been present in the United States since
then, the BMW Group in the United States has grown to include marketing, sales
and financial service organizations for the BMW and MINI brands; a South
Carolina manufacturing operation; DESIGNWORKS/USA, an industrial design firm in
California; a technology office in Silicon Valley and various other operations
throughout the country. The BMW Group is represented in the U.S. through
networks of 340 BMW car, 327 BMW Sports Activity Vehicle, 148 BMW Motorcycle
retailers and 66 MINI car dealers. BMW US Holding Corp., the Group's
headquarters for North, Central and South America, is located in Woodcliff
Lake, New Jersey.
Information about BMW Group products is available to consumers via
at http://www.bmwusa.com http://www.bmwmotorcycles.com and
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