NASCAR Rolls Out Tiny Driver’s Eye Camera, But Blurs Part of the Image
NASCAR’s Daytona 500 event on Sunday marked the first time the stock car racing series featured the driver’s eye camera that lets the viewer see what the driver is seeing.
However, some fans were left baffled by part of the image being pixellated, tweeting their dismay.
“I don’t dig seeing a blurred race track. The blurring is more than just the dash. A step backward for in-car shots,” writes Ryan Kints on Twitter.
Driver's Eye looking much better today! #Daytona500 pic.twitter.com/MDYFxT7LxN
— Mattzel89 (@Mattzel89) February 19, 2023
Why Does NASCAR Blur Part of the Image?
As Clint Bowyer explains, the partial blur is “respect to teams all having proprietary information.”
“They don’t want rival teams copying RPM data, gear ratios, other engineering data during a race,” adds James Piccarreto. “That could lead to some teams trying to come into a gray area that could be a huge challenge toward the industry of NASCAR.”
So they blur dashboards on NASCAR in-car cameras? Come on…no other series does this. What's so secret? What does knowing how many revs someone is pulling going to tell competitors?
— Martin Pinnau (@martinpinnau) February 19, 2023
#Nascar needs to get rid of the visor cam. I get why they blur the dash out, but it’s so distracting. #DaytonaDuels
— 𝘔𝘢𝘺𝘩𝘦𝘮 (@MayhemMero) February 17, 2023
However, fans were left unimpressed, calling it “distracting” and saying it could be better.
“I feel like they could do this a lot cleaner by matching the dash display with a polarized lens on the camera to effectively disappear the data on the dash,” says one Redditor.
Driver’s Eye Camera
The tiny camera is made by Racing Force Group and is the only FIA-approved homologated micro camera that can be integrated into a racing helmet. NASCAR pilots are using cameras that are 0.35 x 0.35 inches and weigh just 0.003 pounds.
Drivers eye camera pic.twitter.com/NyGrxDiwc1
— Dale Earnhardt Jr. (@DaleJr) February 19, 2023
“We’ll have three for this weekend, but we’re looking to build this out every week,” says Mike Davies, SVP, technical and field operations of Fox Sports. “Normally, we’d have only one or two Visor Cams [in the past], so this is already an improvement.”
It follows on from a similar deal with Formula One, which announced that every F1 driver will wear a Driver’s Eye camera for the upcoming season.