The Land Rover engineers and designers are constantly trying to create new and innovative technology. Recently, Engineers took technology from the new Land Rover Discovery and tweaked it to assist Sir Ben Ainslie and the Land Rover BAR Sailing Team with winning the America’s Cup.
Land Rover’s Human Machine engineers spent 18 months creating a one-off steering wheel with gear-shift paddles specifically shaped to fit Sir Ben Ainslie’s hands. This will give Sir Ben Ainslie perfect fingertip control as his team battles to win the world’s oldest sporting trophy, the America’s Cup.
The specialized steering wheel allows Sir Ben Ainslie to adjust the boat’s hydrofoils with great precision so the BAR Team can go as fast as possible.
“This is not just a great piece of design and engineering, but beautiful craftsmanship,” Sir Ben Ainslie said. “The controls are intuitive and smooth, with just the right amount of feel and feedback. It really has made a difference to how I control R1.”
“We have used our experience and technologies developed for the new Discovery and put it on a race boat,” Tony Harper, Director of Research at Jaguar Land Rover, said. “The paddle system we developed for Land Rover BAR has its roots in the steering wheel gear-change mechanisms our customers use daily. By adding personalized molds of Sir Ben’s fingers we have provided a mechanism capable of lifting the boat onto its foils, increasing efficiency through the water and ultimately reaching top speed more quickly.”
“Land Rover’s new easier-to-use controls are a reliable and innovative design concept, giving Sir Ben and the team a feature not seen before in the America’s Cup,” Richard Hopkirk, Engineering Manager at Land Rover BAR, said. “This is the critical piece of technology on board – the connection between Sir Ben and the boat. I’m really grateful to the Land Rover engineers for working so closely with our team and leading the development of such an effective, efficient design.”
Join us in wishing the Land Rover BAR Team good luck as they begin their quest for the America’s Cup!