Arrow Electronics’ Semi-Autonomous Car Hits Record 152 MPH With Quadriplegic Former Racecar Driver Behind the Wheel

Sam Schmidt hitting 152 mph on the iconic Indy oval May 22, 2016. (Photo: Business Wire)

INDIANAPOLIS--()--Former IndyCar driver, and current team owner, Sam Schmidt reached a top speed of 152 mph today at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in a newly designed semi-autonomous motorcar (SAM) developed by Arrow Electronics, Inc. (NYSE:ARW). Schmidt, who has been paralyzed and unable to use his arms and legs since a racing accident in 2000, completed the record drive in between qualifying laps for the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500.

The modified 2016 Corvette Z06 features 200+ more horsepower than the previous model and is the second open-source semi-autonomous car that Arrow has built. Arrow engineers also improved the electronics that allow Schmidt to steer, accelerate and brake using only his head. Sensors mounted on a high-tech headset that Schmidt wears more accurately connect to infrared cameras mounted on the dashboard and detect his head-tilt motions to steer. The car now also features state-of-art live streaming and replay of telemetry, driver biometrics, environmental conditions, driver point-of-view video and other key data, enabling Schmidt and his co-driver to correct any issues in real-time.

“Arrow’s engineers incorporated insights learned from the previous model to build an advanced car design that incorporates cutting-edge Internet of Things technologies and live data-streaming, among other exciting improvements,” said Joe Verrengia, Arrow’s global director of corporate social responsibility, who oversees the company’s award-winning SAM project. “We hope the SAM car continues to inspire and drive technology innovation forward.”

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. All of the software and technology that Arrow developed for the car is open to the developer and engineering communities, and it has promising broader applications for independent living.

“It was a thrill to be back in control and hitting racing speeds on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway again,” said Schmidt, who blasted past his previous SAM car top speed of 107 mph, set in 2014 at the same track. “The SAM project is a great example of what’s possible when the right people come together to innovate and push boundaries.”

Arrow will showcase the original SAM car, a modified Corvette Stingray, at high-profile events around the world to help raise awareness of the power of technology to improve lives.

The SAM project is a collaborative venture between Arrow Electronics, Schmidt Peterson Motorsports, the nonprofit organization Conquer Paralysis Now and Paravan GmbH, a world leader in innovative automobile conversions for drivers with severe disabilities.

For more information on the Arrow SAM project please visit

Keep up with SAM project developments on Twitter by following #ArrowDriven.

About Arrow Electronics

Arrow Electronics 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 serving over 85 countries.


Arrow Electronics
Meghan Macdonald, 303-824-4589

Release Summary

Quadriplegic former IndyCar driver Sam Schmidt reached a top speed of 152 mph at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in a newly designed semi-autonomous motorcar (SAM) developed by Arrow Electronics.


Arrow Electronics
Meghan Macdonald, 303-824-4589