These tiny accelerometers have been housed in silicon gel and designed to sit in a driver’s ear canal to precisely measure the movement of a driver’s head in the event of a crash.
Introduced into Formula One in 2015, they work in combination with Accident Data Recorders that measure the forces acting on the car and provide hugely important information.
The development of the technology was done in partnership with ST Microelectronics – a company that makes components for many consumer devices, including smartphones – due to its knowledge of the technology used to make the accelerometers. ST Microelectronics had to create ultra-sensitive sensors in a tiny space so they could fit into an ear canal. After a few years of research, which included getting the accelerometer to measure the forces that can peak at 400G, the devices were trialled and then introduced into the top level of motor sport.