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F1 Safety Car to evaluate groundbreaking debris detection tech

Spotting debris on track might be about to be easier for Race Control during Safety Car periods in Formula 1 races.

Safety Car Monaco
To news overview © XPB

Mercedes will evaluate the use of a laser detection system on the Formula 1 Safety Car to detect debris on track.

Drivers can often be heard complaining that debris has not been fully recovered by marshals during Safety Car periods, leading to extended periods under the suspended race conditions.

New equipment by automotive technology company Luminar could solve the problem.

Using a LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) scanner, it will be implemented on the official FIA Safety Car in 2024 to assess the development of the system.

LiDAR tech to be used on Safety Car

LiDAR technology is used to create a detailed 3D map of a surrounding environment, while AI software enables precise object detection at higher speeds under adverse driving conditions.

Luminar claims their product can detect debris to a range of 250m and larger objects at up to 500m. The system will be fitted to the roofline of the Mercedes AMG GT Black Series Safety Car during race weekends, relaying extra information back to race control.

“I am delighted that we have launched this new partnership with Luminar,” said Mercedes Team Principal Toto Wolff.

“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.”

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