Tony Fadell is a pretty big name in the tech world.
He’s the current CEO of Google-owned Nest, which makes “smart” thermostats and smoke detectors, and he was also a key player at Apple, having helped design the iPod and iPhone.
Fadell’s latest project? Electric go-karts for kids — and maybe soon, adults.
A new Fortune report reveals Fadell is one of the co-founders of Actev Motors, a startup that makes a $600 electric go-kart for kids where parents can control the vehicle via a mobile app.
Fadell’s go-kart, called the Arrow Smart-Kart, is aimed at kids aged 5-9 and it can travel up to 12 miles per hour. The app can let you track information about the go-kart, like its total distance and driving time. It also has an emergency stop button and geofencing capabilities to help parents ensure their kids don’t travel too far.
Fortune says Fadell was inspired to do this project since he used to build soap box derby cars with his grandfather back in the ’70s.
Of course, this product isn’t totally unique. There are plenty of other high-end go-karts out there, including one from Mattel that fetches for almost half the price of the Arrow Smart-Kart. That said, Mattel’s product, “Power Wheels” from Fisher-Price, doesn’t have WiFi, or any of the smartphone capabilities, and can’t go as fast as the Smart-Kart.
It’s unclear to what extent Fadell wants to make Actev Motors and the Arrow Smart-Kart a household name. But either way, it’s interesting to see a big tech CEO still find time for fun passion projects like these. Who knows? Maybe this will inspire Fadell, and others in Silicon Valley, to make more high-tech toys.