Sam Schmidt to Race Semi-Autonomous Corvette Z06 at Pikes Peak


Sam Schmidt to Race Semi-Autonomous Corvette Z06 at Pikes Peak

Photo Credit: ARROW Electronics

The inspiring story of Sam Schmidt will take another amazing turn in a few days.

Schmidt, who became a quadriplegic after an accident at Walt Disney World oval in 2000, just used technology from Colorado-based Arrow Electronics to drive his special Corvette Z06 to record-setting numbers at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Now, he’ll be driving that same Z06 on the bottom half of the 12.42-mile Pikes Peak International Hill Climb this weekend.

After the 100 official racers and drivers make their way up the course, Schmidt will take on the bottom 12.42-mile, 156-turn course to Glen Cove, then lead a parade of participants down the mountain.

Schmidt is able to steer the Corvette with head movements and accelerate and brake using sip-n-puff technology. His co-driver, as was the case at Indy, will be nine-time Pikes Peak class winner and four-time King of the Mountain Robby Unser.

At Indy, Schmidt lapped the speedway at 108.642 mph and achieved a top speed of 152 mph in the Arrow Electronics SAM (Semi-Autonomous Motorcar) Corvette.

The SAM project is a joint venture between Arrow Electronics, Schmidt Peterson Motorsports (owned by Schmidt), the nonprofit organization Conquer Paralysis, and Paravan GmbH, a world leader in converting automobiles for drivers with severe disabilities.

Appropriately enough, Arrow Electronics is sponsoring the 100th anniversary race of The Broadmoor Pikes Peak International Hill Climb on Sunday.

“Arrow Electronics is proud to sponsor the 100th anniversary of The Broadmoor Pikes Peak International Climb,” said Joe Verrengia, director of Arrow’s Corporate Social Responsibility program. “This longstanding Colorado tradition captivates auto enthusiasts around the world and is the perfect place to showcase the inspiring capabilities of Sam Schmidt and Arrow’s SAM car project.”

While SAM’s goal is to help disabled drivers experience driving again, the project has much broader applications for independent living, since all of the software and technology that Arrow developed for the car is open to the developer and engineering communities.


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