In May, IndyCar team owner and former IndyCar driver Sam Schmidt piloted a C7 Corvette Z06 to a top speed of 152 mph at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. That normally wouldn’t be news, but Schmidt was rendered a quadriplegic following an accident at Walt Disney World Speedway in 2000 and was only able to drive the car thanks to a semi-autonomous system developed by Arrow Electronics.
Now, Arrow and Schmidt have now announced he will pilot the same semi-autonomous Corvette Z06 up the bottom half of the 12.3-mile Pikes Peak hillclimb course this weekend. Schmidt, who steers the car using his head movements and provides gas and braking inputs by blowing and sucking through a tube, will be joined in the car by nine-time Pikes Peak class winner Robby Unser.
Schmidt’s Z06 is creatively nicknamed ‘SAM’, which stands for ‘Semi-Autonomous Motorcar’, but is also a play on the IndyCar veteran’s first name. He will drive’ SAM’ up the Pikes Peak course Sunday before leading 100 competitors in a parade down the hill climb.
“Arrow Electronics is proud to sponsor the 100th anniversary of The Broadmoor Pikes Peak International Climb,” said Arrow’s Joe Verrengia. “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.”
For more information on Arrow and Schmidt’s project SAM, follow this link.