Toto Wolff, Austin Russell and Markus Schafer

Formula One is among the most exhilarating sports. However, the inherent risk of high-speed and intense competition threatens the driver’s safety. Moreover, the F1 circuit is a home for brutal crashes and life-threatening injuries. Therefore, as the name suggests, a safety car is crucial for protecting drivers from a potential mishap. Since its first deployment in 1973 during the Canadian GP, the safety car has safeguarded the divers. 

At the beginning of 2024, Mercedes announced a partnership with Lidar owner Luminar that could shape the future of safety cars. The FIA uses the Mercedes-AMG GT Black series and the Aston Martin Vantage as safety vehicles. 


The Hi-Tech Mercedes Car Will Have 3D Hazard Mapping

mercedes amg safety car formula1 2021

The safety car is deployed during a race or practice when a crash or debris is on the track. Even during heavy rains, the safety car guides the F1 drivers, avoiding hazards. Thus, to improve the safety mechanism further, Luminar is working with Mercedes to install a Lidar in their safety car. However, subject to FIA approval, Luminar’s technology will give access to a 3D map of the environment ahead. The Lidar (Light and Detection Ranging) and AI technology could be a game-changing innovation. The technology enables safety cars to detect debris up to 250 meters and objects 500 meters. Therefore, the technology could be a god-sent for drivers during adverse weather conditions as visibility drops. 

Luminar is among the fastest-growing tech giants, as its innovations get plenty of media attention. The company is working on other designs to make 2024 a breakthrough year. The announcement of Lidar’s partnership with Mercedes was made during CES 2024. The company already caters to automobile giants like Ford and Volvo. However, its partnership with the three-pointed stars marked its beginning in 2022. Mercedes-Benz confirmed that its future vehicles will be equipped with laser technology. 

Iris Could Save Driver’s Life By Auto Steering During A Crash 


Apart from Lidar, there is another exciting prospect called Iris. As Lidar could create a 3D map, helping the safety car to avoid potential hazards on the track, Iris goes one step further. The idea behind Iris is to prevent crashes by using the car’s other safety systems. It allows the car to go in auto steering during a high-speed crash where the driver cannot react quickly. However, Luminar’s AES system will require a green flag from the FIA and other authorities. 

On the other hand, Toto Wolff, the Mercedes team boss, expressed his ecstasy during the launch of this partnership. Both companies are currently working on the project, which, once completed, could revolutionize the safety measures in Formula One.