With the start of the 2013 American Le Mans Racing series at last weekend’s 12 Hours of Sebring, Corvette Racing was able to snatch a victory in the GT class with the C6.R race car. The car also featured something special for the first time that may have helped Tommy Milner, Oliver Gavin, and Richard Westbrook win: an innovative rear-view camera system that relays the distance of approaching vehicles, even in the blind spots. And it works in the rain, and in the dark.
The system runs on a custom Linux machine with an Intel Core i3 CPU and uses a rear-facing radar sensor that is capable of tracking up to 32 objects while working in tandem with the camera. Different colors and symbols are displayed on the rearview screen, which allows the driver to easily see race cars that are behind, how close they are, their closing speeds, and even the approaching vehicle’s racing class.
For instance, a green marker means the car behind the Corvette C6.R is falling back, while yellow means it’s moving at the same rate of speed; a red marker indicates that the car is closing the gap and about to pass, with a blinking arrow indicating on which side the C6.R will be passed. To differentiate racing classes, an extra line in the marker indicates when the computer believes the encroaching vehicle to be of a faster class (as shown above).
Pratt & Miller claim it to be the only system of its kind in racing, but plans to sell the technology to other teams in the future, with pricing still to be determined. Watch how the radar camera works in this video: