Paralyzed Race Car Driver First To Obtain Semi-Autonomous License

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Sam Schmidt and his Corvette Z06

While autonomous cars usually get a bad review from car enthusiasts, including us, this particular story is just plain awesome.

CorvetteOnline.com did an article a while back on a semi-autonomous car built specifically for a quadriplegic race car driver named Sam Schmidt. With the help of Arrow Electronics, he was able to get back in the driver’s seat thanks to a system called “SAM”, which allows him to control acceleration and braking with his breath and steering with head movement. Pretty incredible, right?

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Fast forward to present-day and Sam has now ripped his heavily modified Z06 around multiple high-end tracks and attended multiple events including the Indianapolis 500, the Long Beach Grand Prix, and the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. He has even obtained a new land speed record for semi-autonomous vehicles– hitting 152mph at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Arrow Electronics has showcased the products used in this particular vehicle at many events which has resulted in quite a bit of coverage.

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Now, Sam Schmidt is officially in the process of obtaining his very own semi-autonomous driver’s license directly from the state of Nevada’s Department of Motor Vehicles. Meaning, this paralyzed former Indy Car driver is no longer limited to race tracks and soon, can be spotted driving his Z06 Corvette around on public roads.

We hope the technological advancements used in Sam’s car can pave the way for future impaired enthusiasts and get them to be able to do what they love again– drive.

About the author

Jenna Schiebe

Jenna’s addiction to all things automotive began soon after she was introduced to the car scene at age 16. She has a special interest in imports but, at the end of the day, is a enthusiast that loves anything that goes fast.
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