Arrow Electronics SAM Car Project Continues Driving Innovation Forward

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Arrow Electronics SAM Car Project Continues Driving Innovation Forward

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Thursday, May 11, 2017 - 9:30am

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For the past four years, Arrow Electronics has teamed with former racecar driver and current Verizon IndyCar Series team co-owner Sam Schmidt on automotive innovations with the potential to help people with physical disabilities lead more independent lives. Or in Schmidt’s case, to help them recapture their passion for racing.

Schmidt is a racecar driver, through and through. An accident during an IndyCar practice lap in 2000 left him paralyzed from the chest down, but it didn’t set him back. He went on to establish the successful IndyCar racing team Schmidt Peterson Motorsports (SPM) with co-owner Ric Peterson, as well as the nonprofit organization Conquer Paralysis Now. Today, Schmidt is feeding his personal passion for racing by working with Arrow to reshape automotive technology, with a humanitarian purpose.

In May 2014 Schmidt became the first-ever quadriplegic to drive a semi-autonomous vehicle when he debuted the Arrow SAM Car (Semi-Autonomous Motorcar), reaching a top speed of 97 mph in demonstration laps at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Since that time, the partnership between Arrow and Schmidt has evolved, and the results are only getting better. Schmidt now drives SAM 3.0, a 650-horsepower 2016 Corvette Z06 outfitted with powerful software, real-time data analytics capabilities, infrared cameras, an IoT (Internet of Things) platform and sensors that have enabled him to top 150 mph on the racetrack. He’s also the first person ever licensed to drive a semi-autonomous vehicle on city streets. 

“The SAM Car project has become symbolic of what’s possible when people think Five Years Out,” said Joe Verrengia, global director of corporate social responsibility at Arrow. “Our focus is not on technology per se, but on what people with physical disabilities—people like Sam Schmidt—can achieve when you push the boundaries of what’s possible with technology.”

On May 13, Schmidt will race head to head against racing legend Mario Andretti—who will also be driving an Arrow-modified SAM Car—on the 2.439-mile permanent road course at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The event is a fundraiser for Schmidt’s Conquer Paralysis Now nonprofit dedicated to spinal cord injury treatment and research.    

“Teaming with Arrow on the SAM Car project has been incredible,” said Schmidt. “Hitting 152 at the Speedway last year felt great, but speed is not our main objective. We’re doing this so people with physical disabilities can enjoy new personal freedoms as a result of the technology we’re pioneering.”   

The SAM Car project is a collaborative venture between Arrow Electronics, Schmidt Peterson Motorsports, Conquer Paralysis Now and Lingenfelter Performance Engineering. Keep up with the SAM Car project 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 125,000 original equipment manufacturers, contract manufacturers and commercial customers through a global network of more than 465 locations serving over 90 countries. Learn more at fiveyearsout.com.

Keywords: Innovation & Technology | Arrow Electronics | Conquer Paralysis Now | Handicap Accessibility | Indianapolis Motor Speedway | Mario Andretti | SAM car project | Sam Schmidt | Schmidt Peterson Motorsports | Smart Technologies

CAMPAIGN: Arrow's CSR Mission: Innovating Tomorrow

CONTENT: Article