Burning Rubber, Safely: Bosch Equips Race Track With Video Solution
Opened in 1972, the Misano World Circuit near the Northern Italian town of Misano Adriatico is one of the world’s most famous racetracks for motorcycle racing. With a capacity for 108,000 people, the track hosts several high-ranking motorcycle racing events per season, including the San Marino and Rimini’s Coast motorcycle Grand Prix as part of the World Motorcycle Racing championships. Every year, the Misano World Circuit attracts more than 600,000 visitors and generates an estimated 62 million euros in revenue.
Ensuring the safety of competing motorcycle riders — including the world’s best MotoGP pilots — is the highest priority for circuit owners in Misano. During races, the race controllers in the circuit’s Race Control Room need to respond quickly to crashes on the course and keep an eye out for rule violations, as these are punishable by Grand Prix rules. But with around 25 racers on the course simultaneously and top speeds exceeding 300 kilometers/hour during the 27-lap Grand Prix races, ensuring track control proved overwhelming for the team.
In search of a solution to support personnel in monitoring race activity, officials in Misano called on Bosch, a company with a 15-year track record as a technology vendor for the circuit. “Bosch is perceived as an industry leader and was selected because of earlier work on the circuit’s public security system. It was natural to think of Bosch to guarantee quality and technical support in what is not an easy environment,” said Andrea Albani, managing director, Misano Circuit.
To safeguard the entire Misano World Circuit with its 16 sharp turns, the Bosch experts installed 20 DINION IP starlight 6000i IR cameras at strategic locations around the track. The IP-based cameras capture high-definition video of the fast-paced races in the special 60-frames-per-second mode. Images are streamed live to the circuit’s Race Control Room, where operators monitor the action on over 30 wall-mounted HD-screens. The smooth and crisp images, enhanced by High Dynamic Range technology for more details in shadows or backlit areas, allow for close-up views even at high racing speeds. Despite this high video quality, the cameras maintain a small storage footprint — thereby saving cost on data storage — through Intelligent Dynamic Noise Reduction and intelligent streaming combined with H.265 video compression. Depending on the scene, this reduces bitrate by up to 80 percent.
Another camera that is installed is the AUTODOME IP starlight 7000 HD. This solution offers great benefits thanks to built-in intelligent video analytics. This intelligent technology from Bosch is customized in Misano to automatically follow racers around the track, allowing control staff a detailed view even at speeds around 300 kilometers/hour. The technology also offers seamless handover from one camera to the next, so that operators never lose track while following drivers across 4.2 kilometers of racing track. In the event of a crash, the intelligent Bosch cameras automatically trigger alarms thanks to built-in video analytics. Even without a crash, the system notifies staff when riders violate race rules. Thanks to customized software, these automatic alerts appear in the form of red, green, and yellow flags on the display monitors in the Race Control Room. Operators can then zoom in on the live view using joysticks to control the camera closest to the scene and, having understood the situation fully, delegate the appropriate response.
As one of the world’s first racing facilities to adopt IP-based, high-definition cameras for monitoring racing activity, Misano World Circuit has seen significant improvements on several levels: Thanks to automated alerts and high-definition video of crash scenes, the staff can now provide fast and coordinated assistance — for instance by dispatching ambulances — and alert other racers accordingly. Rule violations are instantly flagged by video analytics, ensuring fairer and safer races. On the backend, integration between high-definition cameras and third-party video management software from Bosch partner Milestone allows for analyzing the cause of accidents and driving constant improvements, as one of the motorsports world’s most iconic racing circuits leads the way with a future-proof solution.