References & Testimonials: Racetrack CMS

Driver experience, quality of view, safety, ergonomics: what CEOs, drivers and technicians say about the digital side view mirror


Laura Kraihamer: “The biggest advantage in the races for sure is not to have a blind spot.”

The biggest difference to classic side mirrors?
The field of vision has increased enormously. There is a lot going on inside the race car and with the safety net etc. There has often been a very limited vision. Now, the view is very generous.

The most surprising advantage of the camera system?
Most surprising probably was the quality of the view – there is no delay in image transmission, which gives me a great feeling as driver, to have the best possible overview in traffic.

How it does help you in a race?
The biggest advantage in the races for sure is not to have a blind spot. In racing the cars often come very close to each other at very high speeds. Sometimes only centimeters separate them and it is essential to keep an overview. The so-called blind spot” is one of the highest risks in those maneuvers and it is a great advantage to minimize this risk now. Also, I think the dimming function will be very helpful at night, as handling the traffic at night is always a big challenge.


Reinhard Kofler: “Now, the view is perfect for everyone and every seat position.”

The biggest difference to classic side mirrors?
The quality of the view and the automatic dimming for driving at night.

The most surprising advantage of the camera system?
Probably the fact, that I don’t need to move my head into the right position to have an excellent view, which has always been the case with normal rear mirrors, as they are positioned outside the car.

How does the CMS help you in a race?
In endurance races, we have always had to find a compromise between smaller and taller drivers & different seat positions, as the view needed changes. Now, the view is perfect for everyone and every seat position. This increases security and is, therefore, a large improvement.

Franz Reindl, Head of R&D Sportcar at KTM AG

Franz Reindl (Head of R&D Sportcar bei KTM AG): 7 advantages of the camera monitor system (CMS) from Kappa optronics.

Enlarged field of view

The size of the standard side mirror is limited by specifications regarding air resistance, design, and the overall width of the vehicle. The field of vision is therefore limited. The camera lens has an opening angle of up to approx. 60° or more. This means that the camera can capture more of the surroundings than the driver needs. The required field of vision is cut by the software and displayed to the driver on the monitor.

No blind spot
Numerous accidents happen every year because road users are in the blind spot of a vehicle. Motorcyclists and cyclists are often affected. By correctly positioning the CMS, these accidents can be avoided.

Reduced vibrations, ergonomic vision
The standard side mirror is attached to the outside of the vehicle on so-called mirror arms. At higher speeds or uneven roads, the mirror glass can start to vibrate and the field of view of the mirror becomes difficult to see. This phenomenon is particularly pronounced in racing cars. As the KTM X-Bow is also a racetrack car the advantage can be seen on rough circuits too. In these driving situations, the CMS offers a much better view for the driver.

No glare
UN ECE Revision 46 stipulates that the driver must be able to identify vehicles driving behind based on the pair of headlights. This means that the CMS does not allow glare from headlights or other light sources. This requirement is regulated by the exposure of the camera images and provides the driver with an optimized indirect view.

Improved visibility in the dark
The CMS has a brightness sensor that enables images that are exposed for different lengths of time. In the dark, the camera image is exposed longer and thus the driver is provided with a clearly recognizable image even in the dark.

Improved visibility in pollution and bad weather
Due to the compact design of the camera and the extended field of view through the camera lens, the camera can be positioned in such a way that it is protected against environmental influences outside of the vehicle. In addition, the camera lenses are coated with a hydrophobic coating. This means that the camera lens is water-repellent. In addition to the coating, the camera lens has a much smaller area that can become dirty. Thus, the CMS offers a better field of vision in bad weather, since there is a much lower sensitivity to contamination.

Since the blind spot problem is minimized due to the CMS, the so-called 3S view is no longer necessary, as is required with the standard side mirror. Drivers with reduced upper body mobility can benefit from using a CMS. In the target vehicle, the occupants are fastened with a 4- or 6-point belt . This belt system is mandatory for most race classes for racing operations. The mobility of the upper body with a buckled multi-point belt system is limited accordingly. Since the upper body movement of the shoulder gaze is eliminated when using the CMS, this improves the ergonomics of the vehicle. The target vehicle has integrated the CMS monitors in the interior of the vehicle. This means that the distance to the monitors is less than the distance to the standard side mirrors on the outside of the vehicle. This reduces the movement of the driver's head to recognize the field of view.

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Testimonial: Here’s why Aston Martin chose the camera monitor system (CMS) from Kappa optronics for the Valkyrie!

Video interview with David King, Head of the Special Operations Department at Aston Martin, about the camera monitor system (CMS) in the Valkyrie, a benchmark in hypercars: “The Kappa solution really nailed that big issue for us in one."

Testimonial: How KTM drivers experience perfect race action and all-around vision with the CMS from Kappa optronics.

Video Statement from Michael Woelfling, managing director at KTM Sportcar GmbH: why Kappa is one of KTM’s most innovative suppliers and how the two young and innovative teams work together.

Kappa is technology partner of TU/ecomotive-Teams

Another exciting student team from Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e)

The team TU/ecomotive now presented the world's first electric car that captures more carbon dioxide (CO₂) than it emits while driving! The prototype, called Zem, purifies the air through a special filter. By storing the captured CO₂ and then disposing it, Zem contributes to reducing global warming. Two digital mirror replacement systems provided by Kappa are part of the concept. The aerodynamic benefits are convincing: by liberating the vehicle from bulky classic exterior mirrors, extremely streamlined designs can be realized - reducing energy consumption and emissions.  Nikki Okkels, external relations manager at TU/ecomotive about their radically sustainable approach: “If 35 students can design, develop and build an almost CO2-neutral car within a year, then there are also enormous opportunities and possibilities for the industry.”

In 2013 we were technology partner Solar Teams Eindhoven

Kappa has a long history with innovative student teams from Eindhoven and we're delighted that they - like us - see important potential in digital mirror replacement systems for reducing CO2 emissions.  In 2013 we were technology partner of the Solar Team Eindhoven for the first time for the solar vehicle Stella Lux. Lightyear was founded out of the project. Now, in July 2022, the spectacular Lightyear One solar vehicle is being celebrated worldwide. And it goes without saying that Lightyear One relies on camera systems instead of classic mirrors. Solar Team 2021's ingenious self-sufficient photovoltaic motorhome Stella Vita also uses Kappa digital mirrors - a glimpse of one of Kappa's new target markets, large vehicles, where the use of digital mirrors is particularly relevant for reducing emissions through aerodynamically optimized designs. It’s inspiring what grows from such relationships over the years! We keep our fingers crossed for the TU/ecomotive team and their mind blowing “Zem”!

The first series application was not for nothing as an "e-mirror" in the then "most efficient car in the world," the Volkswagen XL1.

Volkswagen XL1

As a development partner with Volkswagen, already in 2012 Kappa optronics has developed an innovative, complex camera solution that represented a technical breakthrough on an international scale. The goal was to develop a camera, eligible for certification under the German Road Traffic Ordinance, that can fully process the complex light relationships and physical operational demands of road traffic.

Development concentrated first and foremost on the highly integrated construction of camera and optics, qualification for extreme environmental conditions including skillful use of the camera’s own waste heat and the utilization of Kappa signal processing far beyond the customary standards for cameras at the time. The final camera/monitor system fulfilled all legal requirements and served as an alternative to conventional rearview mirrors.

The digital exterior mirror offers considerable potential for energy and emissions savings through improved aerodynamics, and on the other hand it ensures increased road safety in difficult lighting conditions. The first series application was not for nothing as an "e-mirror" in the then "most efficient car in the world," the Volkswagen XL1.

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Innovation Award 2012, Göttingen

Innovation Award

The development partners Volkswagen Group and Kappa were awarded the Göttingen Innovation Prize 2012 for the digital side mirror in the VW XL1. Kappa's complex camera solution is integrated into the gullwing doors of the VW XL1 and completely replaces the conventional side mirrors.

Eva Konta, Lead Management | Kappa optronics Eva Konta, Lead Management | Kappa optronics

Eva Konta

Lead Management

Christian Stübner

International Sales Engineer

Anna Setale, Key Account Manager Automotive | Kappa optronics Anna Setale, Key Account Manager Automotive | Kappa optronics

Anna Setale

Sales Manager Automotive

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