Quadriplegic Drives Corvette Z06 By Blowing Into A Tube

Former IndyCar winner Sam Schmidt was paralysed from the neck down in 2001, but now drives a Corvette with a very clever interface

Remind me later

A huge Indycar crash at Walt Disney World Speedway in 2000 left Sam Schmidt paralysed from the neck down. Despite this, he’s still able to drive, and it’s thanks to a very special car, plus a lot of determination.

The Corvette Z06 showcased in this episode of Jay Leno’s garage has a pipe which Schmidt can blow in to operate the accelerator, and suck to use the brake. Meanwhile, cameras monitor the movements of his head via a pair of sunglasses, which are translated into steering inputs.

The whole setup is effective and very clever, and gives Schmidt back some of the freedom he lost in that awful accident. He says he’s taken it up to around 185mph, and has plans to take it over 200mph at some point this year.