Welcome!

News Feed Item

CORRECTING and REPLACING Former IndyCar Driver Sam Schmidt Becomes First Individual Ever to Drive on Race Track Semi-Autonomous Motorcar Modified for Individuals with Quadriplegia

First Paragraph, first sentence of release should read Topping out at 97 miles per hour (instead of Topping out at 73.7 miles per hour).

The corrected release reads:

FORMER INDYCAR DRIVER SAM SCHMIDT BECOMES FIRST INDIVIDUAL EVER TO DRIVE ON RACE TRACK SEMI-AUTONOMOUS MOTORCAR MODIFIED FOR INDIVIDUALS WITH QUADRIPLEGIA

Car successfully completes demonstration laps at Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Topping out at 97 miles per hour, former IndyCar driver and current Verizon IndyCar Series Team owner Sam Schmidt today drove a race car for the first time since he was paralyzed in a practice accident in 2000. Driving a modified 2014 C7 Corvette Stingray dubbed the SAM Project, meaning “semi-autonomous motorcar,” Schmidt becomes the first person with quadriplegia to drive a race car at speed using integrated advanced electronics.

Schmidt drove four consecutive demonstration laps today prior to Old National Armed Forces Pole Day qualifying for the 98th Running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race.

The SAM Project is a collaborative venture between Arrow Electronics, Inc., Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp., Schmidt Peterson Motor Sports and Falci Adaptive Motorsports, a nonprofit. Arrow led the development of the SAM car and the systems integration, as well as the engineering of specific systems for the car. Ball led the modification of the human-to-machine interface and driver-guidance system. Colorado neurosurgeon and Falci Adaptive Motorsports founder Dr. Scott Falci advocated for the modification of a Corvette for FAM’s adaptive motorsports program for the spinal-cord injured and recruited Schmidt to the SAM Project. The Air Force Research Laboratory monitored Schmidt’s biometrics during laps, as well as collecting data in how he interacted with the guidance systems.

“Racing has been a dream of mine since I was five years old,” said Schmidt. “I thought I’d never be able to race again after my accident, but this vehicle made it possible. While I was in the SAM vehicle, I was unencumbered by my disability. It was the most normal I have felt in nearly 15 years. It was amazing.”

While autonomous vehicles exist today, a race car for individuals paralyzed from the shoulders down did not exist until the SAM Project. Moreover, 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 of technology.

The vehicle integrates the following technology:

  • Infrared camera system – four sensors mounted on Schmidt’s hat connected to infrared cameras mounted on the dashboard that detect his head tilt motions in order to steer and accelerate.
  • Bite sensor – Schmidt holds a device in his mouth and bites down on it to slow down or brake.
  • Computer system – a central processor collects signals from the camera system and bite sensor to control the car’s acceleration, braking and steering,
  • GPS technology – a guidance system that keeps the car within 1.5 meters from the edge of the track. Schmidt has a width of approximately 10 meters to steer within.
  • Safety system – a set of software algorithms that ensure commands sent to the computer system are real and defined within the vehicle’s limits.

Following Indy 500 festivities, the SAM vehicle will be brought to events for public inspiration and education, disabled community awareness and business development opportunities. The project also supports Conquer Paralysis Now, Schmidt’s foundation dedicated to finding a cure for paralysis.

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 Motor Sports 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, visit www.arrow.com.

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 system. www.ballaerospace.com

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 Now. www.spmindycar.com

More Stories By Business Wire

Copyright © 2009 Business Wire. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Business Wire content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Business Wire. Business Wire shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

Latest Stories
Although it has gained significant traction in the consumer space, IoT is still in the early stages of adoption in enterprises environments. However, many companies are working on initiatives like Industry 4.0 that includes IoT as one of the key disruptive technologies expected to reshape businesses of tomorrow. The key challenges will be availability, robustness and reliability of networks that connect devices in a business environment. Software Defined Wide Area Network (SD-WAN) is expected to...
Between the mockups and specs produced by analysts, and resulting applications built by developers, there exists a gulf where projects fail, costs spiral, and applications disappoint. Methodologies like Agile attempt to address this with intensified communication, with partial success but many limitations. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 19th Cloud Expo, Charles Kendrick, CTO at Isomorphic Software, will present a revolutionary model enabled by new technologies. Learn how business and deve...
DevOps at Cloud Expo – being held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA – announces that its Call for Papers is open. Born out of proven success in agile development, cloud computing, and process automation, DevOps is a macro trend you cannot afford to miss. From showcase success stories from early adopters and web-scale businesses, DevOps is expanding to organizations of all sizes, including the world's largest enterprises – and delivering real results. Am...
Developing software for the Internet of Things (IoT) comes with its own set of challenges. Security, privacy, and unified standards are a few key issues. In addition, each IoT product is comprised of (at least) three separate application components: the software embedded in the device, the back-end service, and the mobile application for the end user’s controls. Each component is developed by a different team, using different technologies and practices, and deployed to a different stack/target –...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Hitrons Solutions will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Hitrons Solutions Inc. is distributor in the North American market for unique products and services of small and medium-size businesses, including cloud services and solutions, SEO marketing platforms, and mobile applications.
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 19th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal and enterprise IT since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago. All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devices - comp...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Numerex Corp, a leading provider of managed enterprise solutions enabling the Internet of Things (IoT), will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo | @ThingsExpo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Numerex Corp. (NASDAQ:NMRX) is a leading provider of managed enterprise solutions enabling the Internet of Things (IoT). The Company's solutions produce new revenue streams or create operating...
Enterprises have forever faced challenges surrounding the sharing of their intellectual property. Emerging cloud adoption has made it more compelling for enterprises to digitize their content, making them available over a wide variety of devices across the Internet. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Santosh Ahuja, Director of Architecture at Impiger Technologies, will introduce various mechanisms provided by cloud service providers today to manage and share digital content in a secure manner....
We are always online. We access our data, our finances, work, and various services on the Internet. But we live in a congested world of information in which the roads were built two decades ago. The quest for better, faster Internet routing has been around for a decade, but nobody solved this problem. We’ve seen band aid approaches like CDNs that attack a niche's slice of static content part of the Internet, but that’s it. It does not address the dynamic services-based Internet of today. It doe...
As the world moves toward more DevOps and Microservices, application deployment to the cloud ought to become a lot simpler. The Microservices architecture, which is the basis of many new age distributed systems such as OpenStack, NetFlix and so on, is at the heart of Cloud Foundry - a complete developer-oriented Platform as a Service (PaaS) that is IaaS agnostic and supports vCloud, OpenStack and AWS. Serverless computing is revolutionizing computing. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Raghav...
While DevOps promises a better and tighter integration among an organization’s development and operation teams and transforms an application life cycle into a continual deployment, Chef and Azure together provides a speedy, cost-effective and highly scalable vehicle for realizing the business values of this transformation. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 19th Cloud Expo, Yung Chou, a Technology Evangelist at Microsoft, will present a unique opportunity to witness how Chef and Azure work tog...
As cloud adoption continues to transform business, today’s global enterprises are challenged with managing a growing amount of information living outside of the data center. The rapid adoption of IoT and increasingly mobile workforce are exacerbating the problem. Ensuring secure data sharing and efficient backup poses capacity and bandwidth considerations as well as policy and regulatory compliance issues.
Why do your mobile transformations need to happen today? Mobile is the strategy that enterprise transformation centers on to drive customer engagement. In his general session at @ThingsExpo, Roger Woods, Director, Mobile Product & Strategy – Adobe Marketing Cloud, covered key IoT and mobile trends that are forcing mobile transformation, key components of a solid mobile strategy and explored how brands are effectively driving mobile change throughout the enterprise.
Data is the fuel that drives the machine learning algorithmic engines and ultimately provides the business value. In his session at Cloud Expo, Ed Featherston, a director and senior enterprise architect at Collaborative Consulting, will discuss the key considerations around quality, volume, timeliness, and pedigree that must be dealt with in order to properly fuel that engine.
The Internet of Things can drive efficiency for airlines and airports. In their session at @ThingsExpo, Shyam Varan Nath, Principal Architect with GE, and Sudip Majumder, senior director of development at Oracle, will discuss the technical details of the connected airline baggage and related social media solutions. These IoT applications will enhance travelers' journey experience and drive efficiency for the airlines and the airports. The session will include a working demo and a technical d...