Cockpit noise

Formula 1 drivers will be able to concentrate on their racing skills in the future thanks to the development of technology to reduce their noisy environment.

Researchers at the University of East Angliaare developing a system which suppresses the noise of a racing cars engine, tyres and airflow in the cockpit of the multi-million pound cars.

It will enable drivers to communicate more effectively via radio with their pit crew as they go around the track rather than waiting to speak to their team when the noise dies down on the bends. It could also be adapted to cut down on background noise while drivers speak on their hands free mobile phones.

The research team use the real-time engine speed data from the racing car’s on-board computers to predict the likely tyre and airflow noise from the car. The noise is then subtracted from the driver’s speech, enabling him to communicate with the pit crew via the microphone in his helmet.

 “In a Formula 1 the car produces very high noise levels particularly when travelling at speed, consequently drivers are restricted to communicating with their pit-crews whilst travelling at lower speeds, such as when cornering. The system being developed allows the drivers to also use their radios whilst travelling at higher speeds or accelerating and use the radio when it is convenient for them,” said Mark Hadley, a researcher at UEA’s School of Computing Sciences.