TRANSFORMING TECHNOLOGIES – CHANGING LIVES
OPENING OPPORTUNITY FOR DRIVERS WITH DISABILITIES
Noel Marshall is the lead engineer for Arrow’s award-winning Semi-Autonomous Motorcar (SAM Car) project that attracted worldwide attention. It utilized off-the-shelf technology to modify a corvette and enable a quadriplegic driver (former IndyCar Racing Driver Sam Schmidt) to drive using only his breath and head motions.
Marshall was the first SAM Car team member to bring both a mechanical and electrical engineering background to the project. Her experience and dedication have been critical in bringing Arrow’s SAM Car project to fruition over these past four years.
Her innovative thinking and ability to tackle complex engineering challenges and guide complicated technical projects forward have significantly contributed to the SAM Car’s notable technical successes.
Using the technology, Schmidt has successfully completed demo laps on the iconic Indy 500 oval, tackled the twists and turns of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb and was granted the nation’s first autonomous vehicle driver’s license.
The SAM Car project has generated over 1.7 billion media impressions for Arrow and helped elevate its brand profile in the crowded technology industry. The objective of the semi-autonomous motorcar is to enable drivers with physical disabilities to experience the mobility and independence of driving again by leveraging the power of technology.
In the words of Noel Marshall:
How can the world increase diversity in STEM fields?
“Early identification of exceptional female and minority candidates by educators is the key to increasing diversity within STEM. Those with the aptitude and interest need to be freed from the societal stereotyping that can push them away from an interest in STEM.”
What barriers are in the way to closing the gender gap in STEM?
“I have been fortunate to have had extremely supportive male colleagues throughout my entire career, but I am aware of the stereotyping that our culture applies to young women in regards to STEM and how it can dissuade some young women from pursuing an interest in science.”
How is the world changing with respect to STEM?
“Right now, diversity is driving innovation forward. Diverse perspectives and ideas are becoming increasingly more valued by those looking for a competitive edge.”
What can be done to move women forward in STEM?
“It’s critical that young women are nurtured from an early age to understand the opportunities available to them in a STEM career.” Where do you see women in STEM in five years? “I am heartened to see women in STEM leadership positions within my own company and expect to see that trend expand even further over the next five years.”