WRC helmet camera in development to elevate TV broadcast

Italian helmet supplier Stilo has created a helmet which incorporates an onboard camera, similar to those in operation in F1, to provide a raw drivers’ eye view to the WRC’s television coverage.

Stilo is working in conjunction with the WRC Promoter to develop a helmet camera with the device now reaching the testing stage.

Helmet cameras have become popular in circuit racing with Formula E, Supercars and Formula 1 utilising the technology to elevate the coverage it delivers to fans.

This is just one step the WRC Promoter is undertaking to improve the championship’s promotion having revealed its vision for the future to stakeholders at Rally Portugal. The plan included a renewed push to take the championship to the USA in 2026 alongside investments in improving the fan experience at events and social and digital media. 

“We are working on engineering a camera together with the WRC Promoter. We are testing something with the Promoter,» Stilo managing director Paolo Bonetalli told Motorsport.com.

“The idea is to have a driver perception of the car, so it is possible to see exactly what the driver is seeing. Especially in rally the difficulty of placing of the camera on the car, you have plenty of cameras but when you are in a turn and drifting it is difficult to get a drivers’ eye view. It is something we are working on.

“The difference between this and circuit racing is the camera for rally has to be a very high-quality camera.

“You see in Formula 1 that the camera is shaking a lot and you can’t see what is happening. In rally you must have the maximum quality.

“The idea is to find a camera that can transmit for one minute but in this case, it must be stable and be high quality, this is the difficulty and why we are working with the promoters to find the right solution.”

While testing of the device is underway, the helmet will be required to meet the FIA’s safety standards before it can be homologated and therefore used in the WRC.  

“It is a big challenge because you cannot have any accessory that is not certified because safety must come first,” added Bonetalli.

“You have to prove that the helmet with this accessory, the camera in this case, is safe and compliant with the current standard. You cannot have something that is too big or too dangerous for the driver. You have a to have a camera and a housing that is placed in such a way so if there is an accident it does not hurt the driver.    

“We have designed something, and we are working to test it and the next step is to get it certified.”

WRC Promoter’s senior director of content and communications Florian Ruth added: “WRC Promoter is collaborating extensively with Stilo to develop a camera system specifically designed for open-face helmets commonly worn by drivers and co-drivers at the elite level of rallying. Ensuring top-notch image quality is crucial for this project.

“Therefore, when this camera is homologated, we want to be confident that it provides fans with an almost perfect drivers’ eye view from the world’s most thrilling cockpit.”

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