Tony Fadell was a top employee at Apple years ago. He is referred to as the “Father of the iPod”. Although the electric vehicle that Fadell has designed is a “Smart Kart” for children, it has GPS, WiFi, and is electric. Fadell gave some insight into the Apple Car and past information, and hinted that his company may be pursuing an adult-sized version.
SMART KART SPECS:
Electric Motors: Two independent 250W motors with 12mph top speed
Brakes: Electronic regenerative braking
Seat: Contoured seat with dual speakers, WiFi antenna and rear light
Pedals: Adjustable accelerator and brake pedals
Battery: Smart Lithium-Ion battery
Proximity Sensor: Detects obstacles for automatic collision avoidance
Actev Motors, the Silicon Valley start-up responsible for the Smart Kart, was founded by Fadell and CEO Dave Bell. Fadell told Fortune that he had to get the car up and running while his children are still young. He hinted at prospects for a full sized version at some point. He said:
“We want to teach the next generation about electric vehicles. It (the Smart Kart) had to materialize before they (Fadell’s three children) got older because I really wanted to do this for them. They ask for an adult size. So you can imagine what we are thinking.”
Fadell is a big name in the tech industry, as he was the leader in designing some of the first iPods and iPhones. His focus has changed to more family and kid-oriented projects. Now he is the CEO and founder of Nest. The company is known for Smart devices like thermostats and smoke detectors.
Last year, Fadell told the press that Steve Jobs had been talking about building an Apple Car since 2008. He told Bloomberg that he had conversations with Jobs about the plan. He recalled the hypothetical talks:
“If we were to build a car, what would we build? What would a dashboard be? And what would this be? What would seats be? How would you fuel it or power it?”
Fadell pointed out that electric cars and phones are more similar than most think. The are both electric, powered by batteries, and utilize a motor. With the Smart aspect integrated, and WiFi there are even more similarities.
Children’s toy or not, the concept and technology are the same in miniature version. With more and more companies showing interest in electrified vehicles, smart vehicles, Wifi controlled vehicles, autonomous technology, and the “new” automotive industry, competition and disruption is mounting.