#culture /art & design


Race Car Technology Saves Lives

Sep 28, 2017

Project Invincible from McLaren Applied Technologies

You know McLaren Automotive, the company behind some of the world’s best performing sports cars, but do you know McLaren Applied Technologies (MAT)? It’s the innovation subsidiary firm of the automotive brand, launched in 2011, and their goal is to use racing technology to improve the world, from healthcare to travel. Think of them as the real-world Stark Industries.

McLaren Applied Technologies uses their automotive expertise to provide personalised medical solutions for clients with complex medical problems. Thus, when a client needed to protect vital organs after surgery, the company took the opportunity to create something extraordinary: Project Invincible. And it’s making lots of waves.

Made from the same materials as next year’s McLaren’s F1 entries, the lightweight, carbon fibre chest shield protects the heart and lungs from low-energy impact. Using 3D scanning and copious amounts of data, the bespoke vest is moulded exactly to the clients specifications, and is discreet enough to be warn under a shirt.

According to project lead Dan Toon, it took the team a month to develop ideas that would match the brief.

Is it bullet-proof? No. Can it make you fly? No. But, in durability tests (done in the same lab as McLaren’s Formula 1 team for their monocoque crash-tests) it could withstand impact equivalent to dropping a bowling ball from waist level onto the toe, which is pretty cool.

Who knew F1 could one day save your life? To find out more, check out www.mclaren.com

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Nicole Tsung