Sam Schmidt, who was rendered a quadriplegic after an Indy car shunt at Walt Disney World Speedway in 2000, previously held the top speed record in a semi-autonomous C7 Corvette Stingray. Now, he had his chance to top it in a C7 Corvette Z06.
Motorsports.com reports Schmidt pushed the C7 Corvette Z06 to 152 mph through an intricate system of motion capture technology, which allows Schmidt to steer the car with his head. Acceleration and braking is taken care of via blowing and sucking into a tube.
Arrow Electronics developed the system, and stated its goal was “to showcase this technology that is essentially off-the-shelf. How do we continue to repurpose what’s already out there to help others? How do we take this further?’
“We want people to consider various ideas and think outside the car. Perhaps similar technology could be used by people who have become paralyzed to get them back into the workforce and able to work machinery that they might not otherwise have been able to do.”
Schmidt completed four laps of the track with an average speed of 108.642 mph at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
“It’s amazing to me how similar this project has been to running a race team,” Schmidt tells Motorsport.com. “It’s truly been a team effort, where everyone gives input, everyone does research, and if we go better it’s a team effort, if we don’t, it’s a team effort.