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E-Kart with Space Drive enables inclusive motorsports

Inclusion project "United in Dreams" presented in Berlin

  • DMSB in cooperation with x4in e.V. enables children and young people with and without disabilities to participate in kart slalom competitions
  • E-karts equipped with the Space Drive driving and steering system, developed by Schaeffler Paravan, enable inclusive motorsport based on innovative and sustainable technology
  • Inclusion project "United in Dreams" presented for the first time as part of FIA Girls on Track at the BMW i Berlin E-Prix 2021

The German Motor Sports Federation is taking a new, inclusive approach in cooperation with x4in e.V. - Experience for Innovation, PARAVAN and Schaeffler Paravan. On Saturday, August 14, the inclusion project "United in Dreams" was presented to the public for the first time as part of FIA Girls on Track at the BMW i Berlin E-Prix 2021.

In the future, this forward-looking project will enable children and young people with and without disabilities to participate in the popular and widespread entry-level discipline of kart slalom. The project promotes mutual interaction and getting to know the children and young people, anchors the idea of self-determined, equal participation in the minds of young people at an early age, removes fear of contact, and strengthens children and young people with disabilities in our society. To this end, the innovative and sustainable Space Drive technology from Schaeffler Paravan enables inclusive and fair sports competition. Since September 2020, the project has been supported by the "Aktion Mensch" foundation, among others.
"In this project, experienced and strong partners are working together to make motorsport an experience also for people with disabilities and to build an inclusive network," says DMSB President Wolfgang Wagner-Sachs. "Ideally, this should ensure equal opportunities for children and young people with and without disabilities in sporting competition in the future. The entry-level discipline of kart slalom is ideal for this."

Innovative e-karts enable inclusive motorsports

Schaeffler Paravan GmbH & Co. KG converted an e-kart last year for disabled access, with maximum flexibility and adaptability. The agile electric vehicle is equipped with the proven "drive-by-wire" technology Space Drive. The agile e-kart is controlled with different input devices, depending on the symptoms: the driver can steer the electric vehicle, which was designed for slalom karting, using a 2- or 4-way joystick, a gas brake slider or a force feedback steering unit. This can be used, for example, to drive people who can muster too little strength to operate conventional kart steering. In this case, the driving and steering commands are transmitted electrically without a direct mechanical connection. The Space Drive system offers children and young people with physical disabilities the opportunity to compete in sports together with children and young people without physical disabilities without a steering wheel or pedals.
"Shared participation in social life is enormously important for children and young people, but also for families in everyday life. We have created an important foundation for this with our individually adaptable and scalable systems," says Roland Arnold, CEO of Schaeffler Paravan GmbH & Co. KG and founder of PARAVAN GmbH, which developed the system from mobility for the disabled. "From there, it was a matter of the heart for us to participate in this project. Such projects, like the e-kart project of x4in and DMSB, combined with innovative technical developments that will one day decisively shape the future of the automotive industry, make a very important contribution to inclusion."

Presentation as part of FIA Girls on Track at the BMW i Berlin E-Prix 2021

On Saturday, the innovative e-kart was unveiled and the inclusion project United in Dreams was officially presented to the media and visitors in the "Allianz E-Village" as part of FIA Girls on Track at the BMW i Berlin E-Prix 2021. Afterwards, visitors were able to see the performance of the unique e-kart for themselves on a slalom course.
Norbert Haug is also committed to the unique inclusion project in motorsport: "Inclusion is a term that means much more and much more important than a single word can describe. The activity described here will create comparable conditions, leading to mutual understanding, shared learning, shared enjoyment and individually perceived quality of life. I support these plans and their implementation wholeheartedly wherever I can and I would be very happy with the initiators if you would support this activity - financially or with deeds."
Already in the coming year, inclusive training and sighting events are to be held and a separate e-kart class in kart slalom for impaired children and young people is to be introduced. Furthermore, in addition to the inclusive organization of the dmsj - German Kart Slalom Championship, the use of inclusive e-karts for clubs in popular sports is also planned.

Last briefing, Swen Lang, application engineer at Schaeffler Paravan coaches Michaela Bendhaus before her first ride in the inclusive kart. For her, it's the first time with a joystick. Photo: Schaeffler Paravan
As part of the FormulaE season finale and the FIA Girl on Track Day, the inclusive EKart was unveiled. The start of an innovative project for young people with and without disabilities. Photo: Schaeffler Paravan
Final tuning runs, Swen Lang from Schaeffler Paravan tests the functionality and the input devices, photo Schaeffler Paravan.
FIA President Jean Todt also visited the FIA Girls On Track camp to find out about the inclusive EKart project, photo Schaeffler Paravan
The inclusive karting project by DMSB and Schaeffler Paravan, with support from Aktion Mensch. It will be used in slalom competitions next year, photo Schaeffler Paravan
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Inclusive E-Kart

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Anke Leuschke

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