Formula 1 racing always has to be generating some controversy. One recent one centres on driver safety: specifically, how to prevent drivers being hurt by flying debris, whilst maintaining the open-cockpit nature of the sport/business.
Various cages and shields have been suggested.
Today’s invention offers a solution that leaves the cars looking pretty much as they do now (ie not very pretty).
Each car would be fitted with a fringe of carbon fibre strands (the spacing could be varied depending on the level of protection required). These strands could be made strong enough to withstand braking and wind forces, yet so thin that they would be effectively undetectable on a tv image.
Each strand would have a wire loop inside so that if the fibre was broken, an electrical signal would be detectable by an onboard computer dedicated to this task.
Any object flying towards a driver’s helmet would break a strand or two and, within a couple of milliseconds, fire some pyrotechnics which would raise a bulletproof but transparent shield (shown as red) in front of the driver.