Skip to main content

This $599 smart go-kart can literally do donuts around Power Wheels

Plus body kits, collision avoidance, and more

Share this story

Actev

My favorite toy when I was a kid was a bright red Power Wheels Jeep. Even though I never left the sidewalk, the driveway, or the yard with it, that Jeep gave me my first taste of the open road. Five miles per hour felt like 100 behind that plastic wheel.

But then I turned 5. I hit a growth spurt and found myself above the recommended weight limit for the Jeep. I tried to scrunch myself into the drivers seat and ignore the fact that my size was making it almost impossible for the tiny electric motor to do anything. The joy it gave me was replaced by seething anger as I watched my kid brother inherit the Jeep.

Dave Bell, the CEO of startup Actev Motors, has a solution to my problem, even if he is about 25 years late. "By the time [kids] get to 5 years old, they’re pretty much done with Power Wheels," he says. "They’re bored with it. It doesn’t go very fast, it doesn’t really have any features."

That's why his company created the Arrow Smart-Kart, an electric go-kart for pre-teens that will make its debut at this weekend's New York City Toy Fair. And like all the best toys, it's the kind of thing that makes me wish I were still a kid just so I could drive one.

Kaylee2_ver2_.0.jpg

Let's start with the design — it looks more like a racing kart than basically anything on the market. It has speakers in the headrest of the bucket seat that can pump out custom engine sounds. (Bell says the company's working on a "growing library," but the only one available right now is that of a V-12 Ferrari.) It has a top speed of 12 miles per hour, which would let you do donuts around a Power Wheels car. Oh, and you can actually do donuts, too, because Actev will sell "rings" that slide onto the back wheels, giving the kart enough slip for the driver to drift.

The Arrow kart makes me wish I was still a kid

That alone is enough to make a kid want the Arrow, but it's all the smart features that will make it attractive to parents. The most important one is probably geofencing. Parents can use the Arrow app to draw a boundary on a map, and if their child tries to cross it the motor will automatically shut off. That's a big deal — my Power Wheels Jeep obviously never had this option, so my mom was forced to stand in our driveway and yell every time I drove near the road. (Thanks, Mom!)

Parents will also be able to set the maximum speed to lower than 12 miles per hour, in case they want to ease their kids into the experience. (Or, maybe: "Do your homework and I'll let you drive 12 miles per hour tomorrow.") The kart even has an emergency stop button and front and rear collision avoidance.

Bell has even bigger ambitions for Arrow. He plans to sell other types of body kits (the promotional photos feature one of these, they cost extra) and racing-inspired steering wheels. He also wants to leverage the connectivity and the smarts in the kart to gamify the whole experience. (Real world Mario Kart, anyone?) To do that he's going to need buyers. Arrow won't come cheap — it starts at $599, basically triple the cost of a standard Power Wheels vehicle. Bell's hoping the smart safety features will give parents enough peace of mind to pony up that cash.

Parents that can't afford a $599 kart aren't off the hook, though. The Arrow looks so cool that kids will probably beg for one anyways. I know I would.

Today’s Storystream

Feed refreshed Sep 25 Not just you

E
Twitter
Emma RothSep 25
Rihanna’s headlining the Super Bowl Halftime Show.

Apple Music’s set to sponsor the Halftime Show next February, and it’s starting out strong with a performance from Rihanna. I honestly can’t remember which company sponsored the Halftime Show before Pepsi, so it’ll be nice to see how Apple handles the show for Super Bowl LVII.


E
Twitter
Emma RothSep 25
Starlink is growing.

The Elon Musk-owned satellite internet service, which covers all seven continents including Antarctica, has now made over 1 million user terminals. Musk has big plans for the service, which he hopes to expand to cruise ships, planes, and even school buses.

Musk recently said he’ll sidestep sanctions to activate the service in Iran, where the government put restrictions on communications due to mass protests. He followed through on his promise to bring Starlink to Ukraine at the start of Russia’s invasion, so we’ll have to wait and see if he manages to bring the service to Iran as well.


E
External Link
Emma RothSep 25
We might not get another Apple event this year.

While Apple was initially expected to hold an event to launch its rumored M2-equipped Macs and iPads in October, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman predicts Apple will announce its new devices in a series of press releases, website updates, and media briefings instead.

I know that it probably takes a lot of work to put these polished events together, but if Apple does pass on it this year, I will kind of miss vibing to the livestream’s music and seeing all the new products get presented.


E
External Link
Emma RothSep 24
California Governor Gavin Newsom vetoes the state’s “BitLicense” law.

The bill, called the Digital Financial Assets Law, would establish a regulatory framework for companies that transact with cryptocurrency in the state, similar to New York’s BitLicense system. In a statement, Newsom says it’s “premature to lock a licensing structure” and that implementing such a program is a “costly undertaking:”

A more flexible approach is needed to ensure regulatory oversight can keep up with rapidly evolving technology and use cases, and is tailored with the proper tools to address trends and mitigate consumer harm.


Welcome to the new Verge

Revolutionizing the media with blog posts

Nilay PatelSep 13
A
The Verge
Andrew WebsterSep 24
Get ready for some Netflix news.

At 1PM ET today Netflix is streaming its second annual Tudum event, where you can expect to hear news about and see trailers from its biggest franchises, including The Witcher and Bridgerton. I’ll be covering the event live alongside my colleague Charles Pulliam-Moore, and you can also watch along at the link below. There will be lots of expected names during the stream, but I have my fingers crossed for a new season of Hemlock Grove.


A
Andrew WebsterSep 24
Looking for something to do this weekend?

Why not hang out on the couch playing video games and watching TV. It’s a good time for it, with intriguing recent releases like Return to Monkey Island, Session: Skate Sim, and the Star Wars spinoff Andor. Or you could check out some of the new anime on Netflix, including Thermae Romae Novae (pictured below), which is my personal favorite time-traveling story about bathing.


A screenshot from the Netflix anime Thermae Romae Novae.
Thermae Romae Novae.
Image: Netflix
J
Twitter
Jay PetersSep 23
Twitch’s creators SVP is leaving the company.

Constance Knight, Twitch’s senior vice president of global creators, is leaving for a new opportunity, according to Bloomberg’s Cecilia D’Anastasio. Knight shared her departure with staff on the same day Twitch announced impending cuts to how much its biggest streamers will earn from subscriptions.


T
Twitter
Tom WarrenSep 23
Has the Windows 11 2022 Update made your gaming PC stutter?

Nvidia GPU owners have been complaining of stuttering and poor frame rates with the latest Windows 11 update, but thankfully there’s a fix. Nvidia has identified an issue with its GeForce Experience overlay and the Windows 11 2022 Update (22H2). A fix is available in beta from Nvidia’s website.