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This solar-powered car has a touchscreen steering wheel and built-in heart monitor — and new EVs may soon be copying it

While the car itself is not yet commercially available, all of its tech components are.

Project Arrow, solar-powered car, futuristic EV design

Photo Credit: Media Gallery

Canada's Automotive Parts Manufacturers' Association (APMA) has created a new electric and autonomous vehicle — and though it is not yet available for purchase, the prototype looks incredibly futuristic.

Called Project Arrow, the car was created in response to the Canadian federal government mandating that gas-powered cars be phased out in the next few decades. According to the government's plans, 20% of new cars sold in Canada will be free of planet-warming pollution by 2026, with that number rising to 60% by 2030 and 100% by 2035.

Though Canada is not known as a car manufacturing hub, APMA set out to create the country's first made-in-Canada electric vehicle, using parts and input from more than 50 different Canadian suppliers.

Its sleek design includes a steering wheel with a touch screen and heart rate monitor that can detect if the driver is having a medical emergency, a solar panel on the roof that charges an auxiliary battery, lightweight speakerless surround-sound audio, and a 3D-printed chassis made of polymer and metal.

The car was designed by four students at Carleton University, working off government grants as well as contributions from parts makers. It was recently unveiled at the 2023 Canadian International Auto Show.

The next step for Project Arrow is to transport the prototype car to Atlanta for testing. And then it's up to the car companies to pick and choose which aspects of the technology they want to use for themselves. 

"What we've done here is we've created the kit for anybody that wants to do an automotive startup in Ontario or Quebec," Flavio Volpe, the head of APMA, told The Globe and Mail.

While the car itself is not yet commercially available, all of its tech components are. As Volpe explained, this could be a major benefit to car companies, as they could mix and match their favorite features.

"You want to build a pickup truck. Great," Volpe told The Globe and Mail. "You can do a zero-emission pickup truck. If you want to do a sports car, this thing's got 550 horsepower. Make it smaller, that thing will be your Maserati. No problem."

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