Ferrari Patent Filing Details F1 Halo-Style Safety Device for Future Road Cars
Not to worry—there's a clever feature that makes the driver's view virtually unimpeded.
It looks as if Ferrari has been taking more than just performance tips from its legendary Formula 1 team as a recently revealed patent filing displays an interesting new safety device for Prancing Horse road cars. Visibly similar to the F1 halo, Maranello's proposed innovation could bring the divisive component to its production models with an emphasis on rigidity and protection. But how would the flip-flop-esque equipment blend in on a $300,000 supercar?
Apparently, the feature would vertically split the vehicle's windshield view down the middle, similar to how we see the halo supported in the center-front of F1 cars' cockpits. As per Auto Guide, who originally reported on the patent filing Thursday, this would reduce the need for thicker A-pillars often required for automakers to meet global safety regulations. The halo-like equipment would, in turn, support the passenger cell and even direct air into the cabin, allowing for a rear-mounted AC system that takes advantage of this revised flow.
According to Ferrari, the component could be mounted externally in front of a single windshield or as an integral divider with distinctive right and left windshield portions. In the case of the former, windshield wipers would be hidden behind it, which Ferrari says "significantly improves the aerodynamics of the sports car."
The apparent issue is still that of visibility, which this device would seemingly make worse—with a trick bit of tech, though, that problem is negated. Ferrari is planning an exterior camera system that can capture the car's front-facing view and align it with the driver's line of sight, projecting it onto the interior windshield surface. This essentially "stitches" these angles together to make for a safer experience.
Theoretically, once this tech is developed, there'd be nothing stopping Ferrari from projecting the same unimpeded view across the A-pillars as well, giving drivers a virtually clear view of the road as if they were in an open-cockpit machine.
It isn't specified what material Ferrari would construct this device from, although we suspect it to be a high-strength composite related to carbon fiber. The patent does mention that the safety equipment would be compatible with any type of roof—fixed or convertible—which could make for some especially interesting drop-tops.
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