Colorado’s Governor Drives Semi-Autonomous Corvette Stingray


Corvette Chief Engineer Tadge Juechter says the Chevy sports car will likely be the last to become a self-driving vehicle.

But Tuesday morning, Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper did the next best thing.

He drove the special Corvette Stingray that has been modified for Sam Schmidt, the racecar driver who was paralyzed on the track 15 years ago.

“This is one of the most amazing things I’ve ever done,” Hickenlooper said. “It’s almost like it was reading my mind.”

The special Stingray – part of the Arrow Semi-Autonomous Motorcar Project – allowed Schmidt to become the first quadriplegic to drive at speed at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway back in May, using the same mods Hickenlooper did this week.

Acceleration and braking are controlled by sucking or blowing into a tube attached to a Freescale pressure sensor, while a cap fitted with sensors connects to in-camera cameras that detect head tilts to control steering.

The mods allow the driver to control the vehicle without holding onto the steering wheel, which Hickenlooper said was a hard adjustment at first.

“You have to stay focused on what you are doing and keep looking straight ahead,” Hickenlooper said.

The governor also test-drove other trend-setting vehicles such as a BMW all-electric XDrive 730i and a Mercedes-Benz F-Cell that is its first zero-emissions car.

Press reports say “all drove smoothly and with plenty of punch for a busy U.S. 36.”

The test drives set the mood for Wednesday’s Colorado Transportation Matters Summit on Wednesday, hosted by the Colorado Department of Transportation and focusing on roadway system improvements for the 21st century.

Denver Post

Quadriplegic Racer to Drive Semi-Autonomous Corvette on Long Beach Grand Prix Course
Quadriplegic Race Car Driver Returns to the Track in a Semi-Autonomous Corvette Stingray
Corvette Will Be the Last Vehicle to Go Autonomous