REMEMBER THE GO-KART you never got as a child? The one your mom called “too dangerous—end of story”? With the all-electric Arrow Smart-Kart on sale this week, you can right the wrongs of the past, for the next generation at least, and do so without putting your children at risk of head trauma.
The Arrow is sized for children age 5 to 9, but a determined adult can squeeze behind the wheel. Yes, we drove it. Yes, we were grinning like imbeciles the whole time.
The younger set will be thrilled by the Arrow’s surprisingly brisk 12-mph top speed. Even more exciting, the Arrow will “drift,” or skid, through tight turns. (To facilitate this on rougher roads, slap optional friction-reducing drift rings over the tires.)
If putting fledgling drivers behind the wheel of a vehicle with dual 250W electric motors gives you pause, rest assured that safety features abound. Once the Arrow is tethered to an app over direct Wi-Fi (no need to scour your cul-de-sac for a network), parents can set speed limits, change gears and, thankfully, tap an emergency brake if the child is headed for trouble. The geo-fencing feature shuts down the vehicle should it stray beyond boundaries you’ve traced on a map. And the kart won’t even start without the parents’ app activated (though there’s an unsupervised mode for children with better driving records).
The hallmark safety feature, however, is the anti-collision system. Like premium cars, the Arrow has a front sensor that detects obstacles and triggers the brakes.
Driving is only the beginning, though. During our test run, Actev Motors CEO and co-founder Dave Bell pointed out a front-mounted red laser, which could one day (via a software upgrade and some accessories) allow multiple Arrows to play dogfighting games. “Like laser tag,” he said, but on wheels.