Members of the Lassonde School of Engineering attended the Toronto Region Board of Trade’s (TRBOT) “Above the Radar” event to expand awareness of SARIT, the three-wheeled micro-mobility electric vehicle with a 100-kilometer range, in anticipation of the start of full production in mid-2023.
As the world moves towards a more sustainable future, micro-mobility solutions such as SARIT – which stands for Safe, Affordable Reliable, Innovative Transit – will become increasingly important to reduce greenhouse gases, ease traffic jams and solve parking problems.
The SARIT project is a collaboration between manufacturer, and former governor of York University, Frank Stronach, and the SARIT Project Team at Lassonde. Since 2021, York has served as a living lab for the vehicle, with faculty, students and more than two dozen York staff, who are running real-life tests of the cars through their work in areas such as maintenance, security and parking.
Attendance at events like TRBOT’s “Above the Radar” is, and will be, a critical strategic component of the project’s future success. “As SARIT is close to full production by mid-2023, these events and interactions will help with general awareness, customer acquisition and potentially B2B sales,” says project manager Omid Sadeghi.
The event was attended primarily by corporate leaders who will prove pivotal in the further commercialization of the vehicle – especially as it gets ready for production. For example, some corporations may become interested in using SARIT as a fleet solution.
The SARIT team had the chance to highlight their progress, illustrated by demonstrations of the vehicle’s use on campus for food delivery, recycling, parking enforcement and ridesharing. Also shared were future plans for developing unique features such as pedestrian detection, geofencing, solar charging and more along with industry partners, to help customize the micro-mobility experience for the end user.
Sadeghi is hopeful events like these will not just generate further awareness and success for SARIT ahead of its production start, but also other opportunities for Lassonde to help right the future with more sustainable solutions. “As we helped the Stronach Group to commercialize a new class of vehicle, we are open to new partnerships to commercialize new innovative products,” he says.
Bergeron Chair in Technology Entrepreneurship Andrew Maxwell, who spearheaded the SARIT living lab at York, also emphasizes that events like these offer an opportunity for York to showcase several aspects of its strategic plan, including its commitment to research, innovation, entrepreneurship, community engagement, experiential learning and more.