UK & World News

  • 14 May 2014, 14:06

Paralysed Driver To Control Race Car With Head

A racing driver who became a quadriplegic following a car crash will drive four laps before the Indy 500 race using only his head.

Infrared sensors will monitor Sam Schmidt's head movements to control steering and acceleration, while a pressure sensor in his mouth will be used for braking.

On-board GPS which updates 1,000 times a second will be used to create a virtual fence around the track that will nudge the car back on course if it strays too close to walls.

Schmidt will also have someone in the car to take control in case of an emergency.

The 2014 Corvette Stingray was adapted by Arrow Electronics, which plans to roll out its equipment to regular cars as well as industrial and military vehicles in future.

A left or right tilt of the head controls steering, while a backwards tilt will cause the car to accelerate.

The Indy 500 is known as one of the biggest spectacles in the racing calendar, and is regarded as one of the three most prestigious motorsports events in the world.

Schmidt, 49, crashed at Walt Disney World Speedway in January 2000 during pre-season testing.

Following the crash, he was on a respirator for five weeks.

After leaving hospital he founded his own motorsports team, which became the most successful in the history of the Indy Lights series.

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