Arrow Electronics recently built a semi-autonomous vehicle with the goal in mind of helping those with disabilities be able to safely operate a motor vehicle. The additional intention with its Semi-Autonomous Motorcar project was to demonstrate what is possible for those with disabilities outside of autonomous driving. The demonstration for this technology was enabling a quadriplegic former race car driver to drive a Chevrolet Corvette on a speedway. This same system has since been updated, and is currently in use to help other people with physical disabilities drive a variety of other vehicles. The following piece offers up an excellent “how-to” case dissection on what technology was utilized in this application.
How do you build a system that enables someone with severely limited mobility to drive a car? Arrow Electronics answered that with its Semi-Autonomous Motorcar (SAM) project. Relying predominantly on off-the-shelf (OTS) products, and building the few things they needed that weren’t commercially available, engineers on the SAM team integrated a system that would take sensor inputs and feed them into a drive-by-wire system.