Arrow Electronics, Inc., the global technology company providing products and services that guide innovation forward, today announced it provided technology framework and guidance to support the development of Hong Kong's first concept electric vehicle (EV) through the EVTech Makerthon project organized by the Hong Kong Science and Technology Park Corporation (HKSTP) and Makerbay. It is also the first EV built on open-source technologies that will help shape the future development of sustainable transport.
The EV was built at MakerBay, the first large-scale makerspace in Hong Kong, over the summer by a group of over 20 students as part of the Formula E's education program. Building on this, Robotics Garage under HKSTP with support from Arrow and MakerBay, organised the EVTech Makerthon to gather local innovators turning this concept EV into a futuristic smart car over 10 days. The vehicle is battery powered and enabled by sensors, computer vision, artificial intelligence and various technologies. The new vehicle aims to provide an entire new experience of mobility, and it will be displayed at FIA Formula E Hong Kong ePrix in October.
Simon Yu, president of Arrow's components business in the Asia-Pacific region, said, "The development of electric vehicles is an important global trend as not only EVs save energy and conserve the environment, but also inspire innovation around sustainable development of technology that improves people's lives. After the opening of Arrow Open Lab and showcasing our Semi-Autonomous Motorcar (SAM) at HKSTP in June, we are excited to partner with HKSTP again to accelerate innovation and make technology concepts come true in Hong Kong."
Albert Wong, chief executive officer, HKSTP, said, "We are glad that Arrow provided the technology platform and technical assistance to support the making of the first-ever EVTech Makerthon. Arrow contributes global technology perspectives and international networks complemented with extensive local engineering support and open lab facility to help innovators access the latest technologies, bring innovative ideas to life and greatly accelerate the project development."
Comprehensive Technical Support from Arrow
Through the initial project inception phase, as well as the intensive 10-day Makerthon stage, Arrow provided not only the technology framework but also technical and engineering consultation on advanced electronics that allowed design teams to incorporate various technologies on an open-source platform. Arrow also transferred the SAM project's technology know-how to help local engineers and innovators to develop their vehicle.
The design teams used the Arrow's Open lab located at HKSTP to access to state-of-art engineering testing equipment and modules. Arrow also provided a wide range of design tools and development boards to enable their innovative design. All the efforts aim to create Hong Kong's first concept EV and shape the future development of open-source EVs.
Cesar Jung-Harada, founder of MakerBay, said, "MakerBay has been invited by Formula E Hong Kong ePrix to raise awareness about the importance of electric vehicles, especially on the energy efficiency and environmental aspects. It is an opportunity for Hong Kong innovators to collaborate, share ideas and explore possibilities of future EVs. It cannot be done without the support from a technology expertise like Arrow which provides the needed resources and technical advices to make the concept car come true."
Arrow's IoT Gateway Platform
Acting as the "brain" of the electric concept vehicle is the high-performance development board DragonBoard™ 410c built by Arrow. Based on the Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 410 processor, Arrow DragonBoard provides a central computing platform for design teams to incorporate intelligent sensing, human-to-machine interface, gateway control, telemetry features and capabilities that support and facilitate open-source vehicle technology.
Thomas Chan, the founder of 18000rpm Ltd., a Hong Kong-based racecar apps developer is one of the participants in the Makerthon. He developed a mobile app to monitor air quality, motor speed, and battery level of the electric vehicle. "The technology platform and engineering consultation provided by Arrow enabled us to do rapid software development and prototyping for incorporating some really interesting features and applications."
The concept EV is expected to on showcase at a number of public and educational events after the FIA Formula E Hong Kong ePrix for raising public awareness of the importance of electric vehicles.