Making It Work
Initial tests showed the system worked but encountered some problems near sunrise and sunset. At those times of day, the sun was low over the horizon and caused interference with the infrared cameras. Tinting the windows blocked enough light for the system to perform in any conditions. And the original cameras didn’t capture enough range of head motion to steer through tight turns.
Developing the infrared camera system was only the first step. Translating that sensory data into actual car movements required some innovation. For version 1.0, the Arrow team engineered a central processor that interprets the camera information and controls rotary actuators attached to the gas pedal, brake pedal and steering wheel. In version 2.0, the central processor and systems integration have been upgraded.
Finishing The Race
On May 18, 2014, Sam drove for the first time since his accident in 2000, reaching 97 mph at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. A week later, he completed more laps at Indy, reaching a top speed of 107 mph. This past December, Sam raced in the iRacing Pro Race of Champions organized by CXC Simulations. Competing with able-bodied drivers, Sam finished 16 of 25.This technology breaks down barriers and opens new frontiers. With a little help, we all can be the drivers of our own lives.
On June 26, 2016, Sam tacked the bottom half of the challenging 12.42 mile, 4,725 ft. Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, which included dozens of twists and hairpin turns, after the 102 official racers and drivers completed their races. The climb captivates auto enthusiasts around the world. It was the perfect place to showcase the inspiring capabilities of Sam Schmidt and Arrow’s SAM car project.