The FIA Institute's Research Programme encompasses three distinct Groups: the Open Cockpit Research Group, the Closed Car Research Group and the Karting Research Group. Each one carries out a number of projects funded by the FIA Institute related to a wide range of safety issues in motor sport.
FIA Institute engineers in each of the Research Groups work closely with testing centres and equipment manufactures to design the most innovative safety equipment in motor sport today, leading to ever more stringent safety regulations, making the sport a safer activity for both drivers and spectators.
Please see the links below to find out more about each Research Group and their current projects:
The Open Cockpit Research Group (OCRG) strives to continually improve driver safety in open cockpit cars, including all open-wheeled vehicles such as those used in Formula One. A few examples of recent projects include the development of an advanced high-speed barrier for circuit racing, ear accelerometers to provide data on head acceleration in an impact, and investigation into the reasons why open-wheeled Formula One cars tend to launch upon impact.
The Closed Car Research Group (CCRG) supervises research into safety issues involving closed cockpit cars, such as those used in GT, touring and rallying. The CCRG is currently implementing the various stages of its Advanced Side Impact System for rally cars. A 200mm survival space between the door and seat was implemented by the teams at the beginning of the 2008 World Rally Championship season. An advanced racing seat with improved protection in rear and side impacts continues to be implemented through the 2009 season.
The Karting Research Group (KRG) oversees research into karting-related safety issues, then collaborates on new regulations with karting's governing body, the CIK-FIA. Current projects include the development of a new high seat to enhance protection in roll-over incidents, an advanced steering column that will collapse during an impact to reduce chest injuries, and the introduction of mandatory youth helmets specifically designed for young drivers. Testing is also underway to develop a strong body protector that is light and flexible enough for use in racing.