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McLaren’s car designed for quadriplegic racers shows how technology can help disabled people


  • The SAM Car was designed so that quadriplegic racer Sam Schmidt could get back on the track.
  • The vehicle is steered by head movements and its speed is controlled by a breathing tube.
  • I rode it and was reminded of the amazing ways technology can help people with disabilities.

The SAM Car is no ordinary racing car.

Designed by Arrow Electronics for former IndyCar racer Sam Schmidt, who was paralyzed from the neck down after a high-speed crash in 2000, the Semi-Autonomous Mobility (SAM) car is steered with head movements and its speed controlled with breathing tube.

The car allowed Schmidt to make an impressive return to the track – something he never thought would be possible after his accident.

“Everything in my life is pretty much done by someone else,” Schmidt told Insider. “But at SAM Car, I have total control.

“Before my injury, this was the most normal thing in the world. I haven’t had it for 15 years, but now I have it again, it’s exciting.

“It’s really amazing,” he added.

I had the opportunity to drive the car and drive with Schmidt around the Goodwood Motor Circuit, one of England’s most historic circuits.



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