Mercedes announce exciting partnership which could revolutionise F1 Safety Car

Jamie Woodhouse
The Mercedes Formula 1 Safety Car.

Mercedes and Luminar expand partnership to Formula 1.

Mercedes and Luminar have expanded their partnership to generate hazard-detecting software for the Mercedes Safety Car, in a potential major boost for Formula 1 safety.

The Safety Car, as the name suggests, plays a pivotal role in protecting F1 drivers and personnel from potentially dangerous situations out on the track, Mercedes providing one of the models used with their Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series.

And now, Mercedes and Luminar are working together to boost the Safety Car with an innovative new method of hazard spotting.

Mercedes Safety Car set to feature 3D hazard mapping

Subject to approval from Formula 1 and governing body the FIA,  Mercedes and Luminar are looking to roll out technology which will allow the Safety Car to generate a 3D map of the environment ahead when out on the track, via LiDAR [Light and Detection Ranging] and AI technology.

The system would be capable of detecting debris up to 250 metres ahead and objects 500 metres, making it especially beneficial during adverse weather conditions when track visibility is significantly reduced.

Work to integrate this technology into the Mercedes F1 Safety Car is to begin during 2024. recommends

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Commenting on the news, Mercedes F1 team principal Toto Wolff said: “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.”

Markus Schäfer, Mercedes’ chief technology officer and non-executive F1 team chairman, said: “The partnership with our Formula 1 team is a natural extension of Mercedes-Benz existing partnership with Luminar to help realise 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.”

Luminar founder and CEO Austin Russell added: “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.

“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.”

As well as in safety, Mercedes will also be looking to excel in terms of performance during F1 2024, as they target a return to the title scene after a winless 2023 campaign.

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