This is the new ArcFox Kaola (not ‘Koala’), a car aimed especially at parents with young children. ArcFox calls it a “smart parent-child car for middle-class parents with infants”. That may sound a bit fuzzy indeed, but it is an interesting car with some ingenious solutions.
ArcFox is an electric vehicle brand under BAIC BluePark New Energy Technology, in turn a subsidiary of BAIC. ArcFox currently makes two cars: the Alpha S sedan and the Alpha T SUV. These are both sporty machines with a lot of horsepower. The new Kaola doesn’t seem to fit in this lineup at all.
What are the smart features for infant business? Via ArcFox:
- A separate camera/sensor aimed at the baby seat in the back. Imagery can be viewed and recorded on the main screen. The camera intelligently recognizes the child’s sleeping state, automatically adjusts the air conditioner, audio, and ambient light, and switches the multimedia channel to the main driver’s headrest audio. The camera can also automatically recognize whether the baby is crying, actively play soothing music, and provide a soothing atmosphere. The digital assistant in care of all these functionalities is a blue koala bear called Kaola.
- The infotainment system has a special scheduling function. In can schedule reminders for pregnancy checkups, birth checkups, vaccinations, and medical checkups.
- A virus-disinfecting air conditioner + anti-virus interior, which uses organic antibacterial agents that are healthy and friendly to infants, without heavy metal components.
- A mercury-free ultraviolet active germicidal lamps, which can cover 99% of the area where children and mothers sit.
- The door trim on the left-rear door has a child-friendly image of a car carrying a koala and a display that shows the ambient menu and temperature.
- A special baby car seat, exclusively for the Kaola so it fits perfectly, designed by ArcFox and car-seat maker Goodbaby. The seat can switch to a lying position for the baby to fall asleep.
- The child seat can also sense the temperature change of the seat to judge whether the baby is excreting (pooping), and the air will be automatically sucked away in an “excretion mode”.
- When the mother approaches the car, the sliding door will open automatically, and the child seat will turn towards the sliding door, so the mother can put the baby in the seat easily.
- The on-board “smart heating and cooling box” that can store 4 feeding bottles with milk, with 4 levels of temperature control, which can be remotely controlled from a smartphone.
- A “workbench”, an extra strong tray table, where mom can change the infant’s diaper.
- The side airbag on the side of the baby’s seat has a volume of 37 liter, 12% larger compared to a standard side airbag, to offer better protection for the baby.
- The right-rear seat can fold into a “resting posture for women lying down” for mum to take a rest.
- A privacy curtain for the rear row, which is convenient for breastfeeding.
- A trunk cloakroom, convenient for changing clothes.
One can not be not impressed. These are some brilliant inventions that will make taking care of a baby in the car a lot easier than in any other car. The car keeps an eye on the baby, knows its mood, knows when it poops, and protects the baby with anti-germ systems and with added safety features. If I had one kid, and a traditional wife, I would love to have an ArcFox Kaola.
And there lies a problem and a question. Problem: The entire layout and concept of the Kaola is clearly aimed at one infant, with one baby car seat and one seat for mum. The one-child policy is long gone and many Chinese families got two kids these days. So where in the Kaola can big brother or big sister sit..? There seems no space for it. Question: And the marketing is rather… traditional, with mum doing the baby work, mum taking a rest in the back, with dad presumably at the wheel. In China, especially among the young in the big cities, this role model is hopelessly outdated.
The turning baby seat.
The camera/sensor unit is located on the back of the driver’s seat.
In sleep mode. Note sliding door on the left (right side on pic). Door on the right is a standard door.
The heating and cooling box…
… with the control unit and the app.
The extra strong changing diaper table.
ArcFox is watching (over) you.
Finally, a well-deserved rest. But this ain’t the same woman as in the pic with the table. A two-mum family..?
Now check 26 minute video with typical Chinese mothers!
Let’s have a look at the car itself:
The ArcFox Kaola in an attractive compact car, with a shape that mixes elements of an MPV and a station wagon. The car in the promo pics is painted in a soft shade of purple with a white roof.
It seems very aerodynamic with aero wheels, pop-out door handles, and a large rear spoiler.
The dashboard is ultra clean with soothing colors. The air vents are large, and so is the steering wheel.
The rear light units looks great with illuminated ArcFox lettering. ArcFox hasn’t disclosed any technical details on the drive train of the Kaola, but within BAIC there are more than enough options. We bet it won’t be too powerful, with a baby on board and all, but one never knows. The most powerful ArcFox S sedan has two electric motors and 643 hp! Well, why not? If the baby gets scared and poops the car will make it fall asleep and suck away the smell anyway. More on this interesting new car as we get it.