7 May 2014
Ball Aerospace and Technologies Corp. and the US Air Force Research Laboratory said they have demonstrated new human performance technologies that help quadriplegic former IndyCar driver Sam Schmidt to safely drive a Corvette C7 Stingray.
Ball and the AFRL are collaborating on the initiative known as the SAM Project, standing for “semi-autonomous motorcar” with Arrow Electronics, Inc., Schmidt Peterson Motor Sports and Falci Adaptive Motorsports.
The demonstration took place at an airstrip near the National Museum of the US Air Force at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Dayton, Ohio.
Schmidt was severely injured in an IndyCar accident 14 years ago that left him with no mobility from the shoulders down. Despite his injuries, Schmidt has the ability to move his head, which will allow the Ball team to convert the driver´s head movements into computer commands. These commands flow to the SAM vehicle´s central processor, to control the car´s steering, acceleration and braking.
Ball Corp. (NYSE: BLL) supplies innovative, sustainable packaging solutions for beverage, food and household products customers, as well as aerospace and other technologies and services primarily for the US government. Its website is at www.ball.com.