Increased road safety requirements are coming at a rate much too fast for manufacturers to come up with a good solution. A-pillars have been getting bigger and bigger, reducing visibility. Ferrari aims to remedy this issue with a road-version of the halo windshield design to spread out the strength needed for optimal structural integrity.
The trickle down of racing technology to road vehicles is nothing new. That said, it’s been awhile since the industry has seen an innovation as big as this.
The halo support in the center of the windshield allows the a-pillars to be much smaller, providing unparalleled visibility. While you may think this would limit frontward visibility, Ferrari thought of that. The Italian automaker has implemented an exterior camera setup to project its feed in real time on to the interior of the pillar. A similar digital solution is implemented to replace the rear-view mirror. This isn’t nearly as groundbreaking though, as we’ve seen digital rear-view mirrors both on road and race cars for some time.
While many GT3 race cars feature centrally located vertical windshield wipers, this configuration is wildly impractical on the road. That said, the road halo system could remedy this. With a central-pillar, it would allow the windshield wipers to be fitted in the middle of the windshield vertically, providing significant aerodynamic gains.
Also of note in the patent was a mention of materials, and that just about any kind of material could work with this solution, including canvas. Ferrari mentioned the pillar from the halo would allow for new aerodynamic opportunities, sharing a miniscule similarity with what we’ve seen in Formula 1.
We aren’t sure if or when this system will see the light of day but we are very excited to see how it will change the standards of car design and performance.