Paralyzed Corvette Racer Gets Driver’s License for C7 Z06 With Head Controls
Thanks to semi-autonomous technology that allows a person to drive a car with head motions, breathing, and verbal commands — former IndyCar driver Sam Schmidt has been able to do what nobody thought possible after a test crash in 2000 paralyzed him from the neck down. He’s been piloting a car. And not just any car, a 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray.
Since that horrible accident, Schmidt did not run away from the auto world, he stayed involved with his passion by becoming the owner and founder of Schmidt Peterson Motorsports, an IndyCar Series race team. On top of that, he’s been working with Arrow Electronics on what is known as Project Sam, a C7 ‘Vette with a setup that allows quadriplegics to control cars. So far, Schmidt has driven the car in controlled, closed situations, but thanks to working with the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles, Schmidt is now set to get a driver’s license to drive on public roads, the first quadriplegic to do so.
As mentioned up top, Schmidt uses multiple functions of his head, face, and mouth to drive the car. Exhaling speeds the car up, inhaling stops it. Four Infrared cameras read his head movements for steering, and the system reads verbal commands, as well.
This is what a dream come true looks like.
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via [ARS Technica, Jalopnik]