Arrow Electronics' SAM Car Displayed at National Corvette Museum
CENTENNIAL, Colo., December 8, 2020 /3BL Media/- Arrow Electronics has loaned its original Semi-Autonomous Motorcar (SAM) to the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Ky. The 2014 C7 Stingray will remain on public display in the museum’s Skydome gallery until mid-March 2021.
The Arrow SAM Car Project extensively modifies performance cars with electronic interfaces to allow quadriplegic former race car driver Sam Schmidt drive at racetrack speeds with head and voice controls. The program prototypes new mobility technologies that offer a level of control and decision-making that autonomous vehicles don’t provide.
“The technology is so incredible,” said Derek Moore, director of collections and curator for the National Corvette Museum, which is located a few miles from Chevrolet’s Corvette assembly line. “What it offers for the future of the automotive industry is mind-blowing.”
On May 18, 2014, Schmidt, a former IndyCar racer, drove the C7 using head controls, reaching 97 mph at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in qualifying laps for the 500. A few days later, he completed more laps in the C7, reaching a top speed of 107 mph.
Race officials offered him the same four-lap qualifying opportunity as other drivers as a gesture of respect for commitment to racing and his perseverance towards improved mobility.
Since then, Arrow has modified two other Corvettes as Schmidt continues to test the boundaries of electronic modifications and improved mobility. In 2016, he received the first driver’s license for a person with a high-level spinal cord injury.
In October 2020, Schmidt returned to actual competition 20 years after a crash left him paralyzed from the shoulders down. He drove a modified 2020 Corvette C8 in two days of amateur competition at the NCM Motorsports Park in Bowling Green. He finished in the middle of the pack, racing against able-bodied drivers with no special considerations.
“Driving is a high level of independence,” said Schmidt. “This is the only thing I do in my life where I’m totally in control.”
About Arrow Electronics
Arrow Electronics (NYSE:ARW) guides innovation forward for over 175,000 leading technology manufacturers and service providers. With 2019 sales of $29 billion, Arrow develops technology solutions that improve business and daily life. Learn more at FiveYearsOut.com.