Mercedes set to debut new technology on the F1 Safety Car

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Mercedes have announced a new collaboration with automotive technology company Luminar that will help to develop a laser detection system for the Mercedes F1 safety car.

The partnership will leverage Luminar’s existing development work with Mercedes-Benz to integrate its technology into the Official FIA F1 Safety Car, with that work beginning in 2024.

LiDAR, Light and Detection Ranging, uses lasers to create a highly detailed 3D map of the surrounding environment and coupled with its AI software uniquely enables precise object detection at higher speeds and under adverse driving conditions.

The technology is built from the chip-level up and at a higher wavelength that allows it to see road debris up to 250m and objects up to 500m ahead.

Once operational, and subject to FIA and Formula 1 regulatory compliance and approval, and in compliance with the FIA Formula 1 regulations, the sensor would create a real-time 3D map of the environment ahead of the Safety Car, notably enhancing the Safety Car driver’s ability to assess the situation on the track while maintaining the required high speeds.

“Luminar’s technology has always been about pushing the limits of performance while improving automotive safety - and with F1, Mercedes-AMG are taking it to the extreme on a world stage of automotive enthusiasts,” said Austin Russell, Founder and CEO of Luminar.

“The same leading technology developed in partnership with Mercedes-Benz for their production cars will be shared with the Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 Team, demonstrating performance and safety advantages at any speed from the city, to the autobahn, to the track.”

Markus Schäfer, Mercedes-Benz AG Chief Technology Officer & Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 Team Non-Executive Chairman, said: “The partnership with our Formula 1 team is a natural extension of Mercedes-Benz existing partnership with Luminar to help realize our vision for accident-free driving in Mercedes production cars.

“Mercedes-Benz has always been at the forefront of innovation and safety and we look forward to continuing our development efforts with Luminar to bring this technology to our F1 team.”

Toto Wolff, CEO and Team Principal, added: “I am delighted that we have launched this new partnership with Luminar.

I have been thoroughly impressed by their journey so far, their technology and the work they have done. It is a truly thrilling and innovative area which will have far-reaching implications for the automotive industry and mobility more generally.

“Our collaboration will utilise the initial development work between Luminar and Mercedes-Benz as a bedrock, and I am excited to see how we can build on that. Luminar’s culture of innovation and entrepreneurship also fits incredibly well with our own ethos and values so this is a natural collaboration.”