Quadriplegic racer tackles the most dangerous mountain race in the world at Pikes Peak, steering only with head movements!
Former Indy-Car driver Sam Schmidt meets the legendary Pikes Peak challenge with a specially retrofitted Corvette. The latest sensor technology from the United States coupled with digital driving and steering system of Paravan GmbH make it possible.
Centennial (Colorado) / Aichelau. The famous Pikes Peak International Hill Climb in Colorado takes place in the USA this weekend (June 26, 2016) and celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. The legendary route features 154 curves, 19.99 kilometers in length, 7 percent gradient on average, and 1,500 meters of altitude difference between start and finish. Using only head movement and a pressure sensor for the accelerator and brake placed in mouth, former Indy-Car driver Sam Schmidt, who was paralyzed from the neck down after a racing incident will take on the "Race to the Clouds" using a specially modified Corvette Z06 (650 hp).
The effort is made possible by the SAM car project, a joint venture between global technology company Arrow Electronics, the U.S. Schmidt-Petersen Motorsports racing team and the Swabian innovative companies Paravan GmbH Pfronstetten-Aichelau. The basis of the vehicle conversion is a multiple fail-safe driving and steering system Space Drive of Paravan which is used for numerous prototypes and vehicle studies by renowned vehicle manufacturers and suppliers for the autonomous or semi-autonomous driving industry. Moreover, Paravan has already deployed more than 5,000 systems with millions of kilometers traveled in daily use in disability mobility.
"It's amazing how Sam takes the challenge upon himself. He is an absolute role model and encouragement to many people with similarly serious disabilities. All of us at Paravan are very proud of what we have done with our unique technology Space Drive- an important contribution, together with Arrow and our other collaborator, to obtain such a highly innovative vehicle for Sam at the start," said Paravan founder Roland Arnold.
The Pikes Peak race is not the first recorded running of Sam Schmidt in his upgraded Corvette. Only a few weeks earlier, he drove the vehicle during practice laps for the Indy 500 race in Indianapolis and reached 244 Km / h (152 mph) to illustrate maximum speed attributed to the unique and promising technology was used in this exceptional vehicle.