If you follow racing you may know the name Sam Schmidt. He had a brief IndyCar career as a driver winning one race in 1999 but was left paralyzed after a wreck in 2000. He was unable to drive any kind of vehicle again, until now. Arrow Electronic has developed a C8 Corvette that Sam can drive by only using his head.
The wreck left Sam paralyzed from the neck down but it didn’t stop him from being involved with the racing world as he found a way to become the co-owner of the Arrow McLaren SP IndyCar team. The itch to drive and go fast has remained through the years however which has led to the development of the specialized C8 Corvette that Sam could drive without using anything but his head movements to dictate direction and a blow-tube to manipulate acceleration and deceleration. In addition to being able to drive again, Sam was also invited to Goodwood Festival of Speed recently, an event he thought he would eventually come to as a spectator but was overjoyed to be able to compete.
How It Works
Goodwood Road and Racing’s YouTube page posted a video that shares how the C8 Corvette is set up to allow Sam to race. He pilots the vehicle from the passenger seat where there are a plethora of infrared cameras monitoring his helmet’s movements to determine direction. There is straw inside the helmet that he can blow into or suck on to manipulate speed accordingly. Sam is accompanied by a co-pilot that has the ability to jump into action if anything goes awry. Arrow Electronic chose the C8 because it not only had a removable rooftop making for easier in and out procedures for Sam but its a competitive machine on the track. A base C8 Corvette is powered by a 6.2L V8 pushing out 495 horsepower and 470 lb-ft of torque. A representative in the video says the technology that Arrow has developed can be used to enable people to get back to living a normal life and perhaps drive other vehicles one day.