Every NTT IndyCar Series team will be required to use a new onboard video system supplied by AIM in 2019. The roll hoop-mounted cameras will provide teams with full-time onboard video that can be used for driver and performance analysis and, when needed, IndyCar’s engineering staff with footage to dissect any crashes or component failures that take place throughout the season.
Prior to the AIM system, teams were allowed to place various cameras –GoPros or similar — atop the roll hoop during practice sessions, and as fans have noted, the devices often obscured in-car footage from the overhead camera controlled by IndyCar’s broadcast partners. With the new camera and its lower mounting position, the blockage is removed.
“What happened was we were looking for a more elegant way to give teams video, and the shape of the AIM camera allowed us to integrate it into the roll hoop shroud, and from an accident standpoint, we love having video in every car,” IndyCar engineering director Jeff Horton told RACER.
The AIM system is a modern workaround for the former Pi Vids system, which IndyCar teams used to marry onboard data with onboard camera footage until the newer IndyCar electronics made Pi Vids a thing of the past.
“The other things the teams were needing was a replacement for a system they had years ago,” Horton continued. “So working between AIM and Cosworth, they’ll be able to pull the video into the Cosworth software and overlay the video with the data. We have it set up now where it runs on all cars in all sessions.
“It starts recording based on speed, and uses GPS and UNIX time, because that synchronizes the data and video together. It’s in the metadata, so when the AIM video is imported, the Cosworth software recognizes it and that helps with the syncing process.”
Unlike the overhead broadcast camera and the helmet camera footage shown to fans on NBC and via IndyCar’s live stream, video from the AIM system is only meant for internal use by teams and the series.