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Former IRL Racer Sam Schmidt Preparing to Drive During 2014 Indy 500 Festivities in Corvette Uniquely Modified for Quadriplegics
|By Business Wire
|May 5, 2014 05:54 PM EDT
Former Indy Racing League racer Sam Schmidt is working with a team of
technology engineers and medical experts led by Arrow Electronics, Inc.
(NYSE: ARW), to return to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and drive for
the first time since he became paralyzed nearly 15 years ago in a racing
The race car that will enable Schmidt, a quadriplegic, to drive on the
track again has been dubbed the SAM Project, standing for
“semi-autonomous motorcar.” The 2014 Corvette C7 Stingray has been
uniquely modified with integrated advanced electronics and a
human-to-machine interface. The SAM Project’s objectives are not to
transfer control of a vehicle to technology but rather to enable
disabled drivers to enjoy the driving experience by leveraging the power
The SAM Project is a collaborative venture between Arrow, Ball Aerospace
& Technologies Corp., Schmidt Peterson Motor Sports and Falci Adaptive
Motorsports, a nonprofit. Arrow is leading the development of the SAM
car and the systems integration, as well as the engineering of specific
systems for the car. Ball is leading the modification of the
human-to-machine interface and driver-guidance system. The Air Force
Research Laboratory is monitoring the driver’s biometrics during laps,
as well as collecting data in how the driver interacts with the guidance
systems. Dr. Scott Falci is serving as the project’s medical director.
Final preparations are underway for the car’s debut during the 2014
Indianapolis 500 festivities later this month. Details about when the
car will be demonstrated will be announced soon.
ABOUT THE SAM PROJECT
The SAM (semi-autonomous motorcar) Project is an innovative project in
which a 2014 Corvette C7 Stingray car has been modified with integrated
advanced electronics and a human-to-machine interface so a qualified
quadriplegic driver can safely operate it under racetrack conditions.
The concept of modifying cars so disabled racers might return to the
racetrack is championed by Colorado neurosurgeon Dr. Scott Falci. The
SAM Project is a collaborative venture between Arrow Electronics, Ball
Aerospace & Technologies Corp., the Air Force Research Laboratory,
Schmidt Peterson Motorsports and Falci Adaptive Motorsports. More
information about the project is available at http://arrowsamcar.com/.
ABOUT SAM PROJECT PARTNERS
About Arrow Electronics
Arrow Electronics (www.arrow.com)
is a global provider of products, services and solutions to industrial
and commercial users of electronic components and enterprise computing
solutions. Arrow serves as a supply channel partner for more than
100,000 original equipment manufacturers, contract manufacturers and
commercial customers through a global network of more than 460 locations
in 58 countries. Based in Englewood, Colo., Arrow guides today’s
innovators to a better tomorrow – a world of Five Years Out. Five Years
Out is a community of builders and engineers who navigate the path
between possibility and practicality. Arrow is guiding the SAM project
forward to improve mobility for the disabled and demonstrate the power
of innovation. For more information about Arrow and the SAM project,
About Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp.
Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp., a subsidiary of the Ball
Corporation and based in Broomfield, Colo., prides itself on its agility
to innovate and strength to deliver for defense, intelligence, civil and
commercial customers. The company advances science and protects the
nation through the development and manufacture of space systems,
tactical defense products and geospatial information solutions. Ball is
a key contributor of technical innovations for the SAM project and leads
the modification of the human to machine interface and driver guidance
About the Air Force Research Laboratory
The Air Force Research Laboratory is a scientific research organization
operated by the United States Air Force Materiel Command dedicated to
leading the discovery, development, and integration of affordable
aerospace warfighting technologies, planning and executing the Air Force
science and technology program, and provide warfighting capabilities to
United States air, space, and cyberspace forces. www.wpafb.af.mil/afrl
About Falci Adaptive Motorsports
Falci Adaptive Motorsports is a registered Colorado non-profit. Its
mission is to provide opportunity, education and inspiration to the
public through disabled racing initiatives and advancements in spinal
cord injury research encompassing spinal cord regeneration techniques,
drug development for spinal cord injury neuropathic pain, and
development of adaptive technologies for those with spinal cord injury
and disabilities in general. One of FAM’s priorities is to demonstrate
the SAM vehicle to advance new mobility systems and lower the barriers
that discourage and isolate the disabled community. www.falcimotorsports.org
About Schmidt Peterson Motor Sports
Schmidt Peterson Motor Sports is a racing team owned by quadriplegic Sam
Schmidt and partners. SPMS competes in both IndyCar and Indy Lights. The
SAM C7 was modified at its racing garage in Indianapolis. SPMS’s
priorities are for Sam Schmidt to safely drive at speed and to support
the disabled community through his related charity, Conquer Paralysis
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