Computers with wheels are coming to the University of Washington.
The UW is one of four universities around the nation that will receive four small Innova Dash solar-powered electric cars for on-campus research projects. Illinois-based Innova UEV has built the “new urban electric vehicles” to include tablets that connect to the campus WiFi and can track data related to position, speed and battery change.
The Dash, described as an “iPad you can drive,” has a top speed of 35 MPH and a range of 90 miles on a full charge. The vehicle retails for $9,999 to $13,000.
The idea is to study sustainability research and reduce the university’s carbon footprint. Some proposed projects include testing automated parking technologies, recording bird songs on campus, and providing a safe way to transport students home at night. The cars can also communicate to one another, or to other Innova cars at the other campuses.
Colorado State, University of Pittsburgh and University of Wisconsin were the three other schools selected by Innova and its non-profit partner Internet2 out of a pool of 11 applicants. As UW News notes, students, faculty and staff members at the UW may have a chance to ride around in the Dash depending on what research projects are implemented.