Arrow Electronics demonstrates semi-autonomous mobility technology on Goodwood Festival of Speed’s iconic Hillclimb course
12 July 2021
New SAM Suit exoskeleton makes its European debut, alongside the Arrow Electronics SAM (semi-autonomous motorcar) Car, demonstrating how technology can inspire.
Paralyzed racecar driver, Sam Schmidt drove up Goodwood Festival of Speed’s iconic 1.86km Hillclimb course with the Arrow Electronics semi-autonomous mobility (SAM) Car on 8 July, as part of the ‘FOS (Festival of Speed) Highlights and FIA (Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile, the world governing body of motor sport) Batch’. Additionally, and exclusively for the first time in Europe, Arrow demonstrated the new SAM Suit exoskeleton at the Festival of Speed’s Future Lab.
Sam Schmidt is an INDYCAR team owner (Arrow McLaren SP) and former Indy Racing League driver, who crashed during a practice lap at the Walt Disney World Speedway in Orlando in the year 2000, severely injuring his spinal cord. He was diagnosed as a quadriplegic. To help Schmidt reclaim his independence and drive again, Arrow engineers created a smart, connected vehicle that he can operate safely and independently using head controls and voice commands – the Arrow SAM Car.
The Arrow SAM Car is a modified 2020 Corvette that Sam has driven in amateur races, broken speed records in, and cruised down public streets in several US cities. He carries a special driver’s license to pilot the experimental vehicle. In January, Schmidt reached a top speed of 201mph.
Most recently, Arrow designed another technology to improve Sam Schmidt’s mobility – the SAM Suit. A collaboration between Arrow and robotic engineering researchers at Vanderbilt University (Nashville, Tennessee, US), the Arrow SAM Suit advances current exoskeleton technology with extensions to support Schmidt’s torso and arms, as well as his lower extremities. The SAM Suit is part of the technology approach used to develop the Arrow SAM Car, demonstrating how technology can provide freedom and choice to people with disabilities.
The Goodwood Festival of Speed, presented by Mastercard, is an annual motor sport event held in the grounds of Goodwood House in the South of England, organised by Charles Henry Gordon-Lennox, Duke of Richmond. The event has taken place since 1993 and combines current, historic and future elements of motor sports and motor racing.
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