The Arrow electric go kart from Actev Motors is designed by professional racers for young drivers who are too old for the electric Barbie Jeep but too young for real racing go karts. What’s so smart about it? For one thing, it has a front mounted collision sensor that will automatically bring it to a halt if a crash is imminent.
But here’s the part that will really appeal to helicopter parents. The Arrow Smart Kart also has a smart phone app that lets them limit its speed, range, and other capabilities. It has a top speed of 12 mph, but that can be reduced using the app to keep little Johnny or Sally from exceeding their nascent driving capabilities. Best of all, the Smart Kart also permits geo-fencing.
Diligent parents can limit exactly how far a child can drive in this electric go kart. An onboard GPS tracker will automatically slow the vehicle to a crawl when it breaks the geo-fence barrier. In theory, it will encourage errant children to return to the pre-designated area so they can drive at full speed again. That will also train them to expect mom and dad to monitor their every move when they are old enough to borrow the family car.
But, wait. There’s more. The app also has an emergency stop feature that completely shuts down the Smart Kart with the tap of a button. It will notify parents if the kart’s collision avoidance feature has been activated or if it has been motionless for a set amount of time, indicating a possible problem. It also provides driving stats about time, distance, and speeds.
The Arrow Smart Kart can go for up to an hour on one battery charge, less if the kid is pressing really hard on the go pedal. Recharging is an overnight affair, although an optional fast charger is available. Extra batteries are also available so a depleted one can be easily swapped for a fully charged replacement.
The basic kart retails for a wallet friendly $600, but there are lots of options that can add to that price — things like custom body kits, drifting wheel rings and various upgrades to the steering wheel. The app itself can be enhanced to provide various synthesized engine sound effects that can be downloaded and shared to the vehicle.
Is it rude to suggest that the Smart Kart is too clever by half? Mistakes are the best teachers. Not only does the Smart Kart prevcnt kids from making mistakes, it gets them used to the idea that mom and dad are always there, hovering in the background at the end of a digital tether. What ever happened to letting kids be kids?