The Smart Wheel

the smart wheel

The Smart Wheel is the creation of a group of young entrepreneurs from Londonderry, NH. When I say young, I mean young: TJ Evarts, Jaiden Evarts, Bryeton Evarts, Paige Balcom, Emily Balcom, and Kate Balcom range in age from ten to sixteen! These plucky young entrepreneurs aren't pitching some hokey craft product to the Sharks either; they're introducing the Sharks to The Smart Wheel: a product that aims to create a warning system for drivers when their hands come off the steering wheel.

Smart Wheel is an acronym for Safe Motorist Alert for Restricting Texting. Coupled with their Don't DUIT (Drive Under the Influence of Texting) public service campaign, these kids invented and engineered a hi-tech product to help curb the deadly habit of texting while driving; it's a problem that kills too many teens each year. They plan on introducing a complete education program to teach teens about the dangers of cell phone use while driving. The Smart Wheel entrepreneurs are part of The Inventioneers,  “a group of students inventing tomorrow's solutions today.” The group boasts four patents. These young entrepreneurs are combining a business idea with a solution to a deadly problem and they're sure to impress the Sharks with their brains, attitude, and The Smart Wheel.

The Smart Wheel in the Shark Tank

Six “Inventioneers” entered the Shark Tank in episode 416, seeking an investment in their Smart Wheel. TJ Evarts, Jaiden Evarts, Bryeton Evarts, Paige Balcom, Emily Balcom, and Kate Balcom come to the Shark Tank looking for a $100,000 in exchange for 15% of their company.

The six enter the Shark Tank, and present a scenario, with teens goofing around, using makeup, and cell phones. They explain that 18 teens die every day due to distracted driving. The Sharks are impressed with the demonstration, but have questions.

Mark Cuban wants to know if the product is available. TJ explains that the current model is a prototype. The teens plan to sell via the internet, with the potential to move into retail spaces. The cost of production is around $50, while retail would be $200.

Kevin O'Leary suggests that instead of simply alerting and recording, the product should deliver “120 volts” to discourage the driver from distracted driving habits. Breyton explains that a study was done at MIT which showed that the Smart Wheel would improve the driving habits of 90% of drivers. The kids add a cherry, mentioning that President Obama has endorsed the product.

Daymond John would “love to be a part of this” but doesn't believe he can add value. He's out.

Barbara Corcoran believes that “teenagers do want to be safe but they don't want their Ma and their Papa looking over their shoulder.” She's not convinced, and she's out.

Kevin O'Leary thinks the kids “will one day come up with a good product that I can invest in,” but he's out.

Robert Herjavec believes that the product should be licensed out to car manufactures, freeing the kids to focus on inventing more products. He offers the team a deal: $100,000 for 30%, with the contingency of a car company licensing the product.

Mark Cuban is willing to go in on the deal, but wants to remove the contingency from the offer.

The Inventioneers accept the deal.

The Smart Wheel Shark Tank Update

Not all Shark deals that are made on the Shark Tank come to fruition. When the Shark investors and the entrepreneurs couldn't agree upon licensing the Smart Wheel exclusively to car manufacturers, the deal fell through. The young inventors haven't given up, however. In 2015, led by now nineteen-year-old CEO TJ Evarts, they launched an unsuccessful Indiegogo campaign to get the Smart Wheel into production. Was leaving the Sharks behind a smart move on the Inventioneers' part? It's too soon to tell, but with a product that enticed two Sharks to invest, they seem to be driving in the right direction.

Posts about The Smart Wheel on Shark Tank Blog

New Hampshire Teens Swim in Shark Tank

Smart Wheel Info

Website

no facebook page – they're too young!

Don't DUIT PSA Video:

Comments

  1. One thing I think they missed. One handed driving. Many drivers drive single handed, and anyone who has to drive manual transmission has to use one hand on steering wheel to shift gears. Smart wheel would get tossed out the window after the third or forth gear from beeping.

    • It’s part of an education program too.

    • Exactly. This idea is horrible because with a manual transmission car you have to remove one hand to shift gears. Also, they advocate the “ten and two ” hand placement, but all professional driving instructors recommend “nine and three” so it would be beeping like a nutcase if you didn’t place your hands where they wanted. I hope these kids come up with other ideas, but this one is a total dog.

      • Actually they said on the episode put your hands at 9 and 3 when they asked the sharks to pretend they were driving

      • Sigorney Weaver says:

        I agree. You should be able to put your hands anywhere on the wheel as far as I am concerned.

      • This idea is horrible what if i need to readjust my mirror or roll down the window or change the radio channel or crank the heat in the winter, it would beep every time you would do one of these things.

    • Sigorney Weaver says:

      I agree. My sister and i discussed the very same thing. As a parent, i don’t want to be notified if my son is using one hand on the wheel. I DO want to be notified if he takes BOTH hands off the wheel and I want THAT recorded ONLY.

  2. I think they should consider marketing to insurance companies to be used in the “snapshot” or revision periods that are said to record your driving patterns to better asses risks associated with that drivers habits.

  3. I think this is a great product. I want for my son cause my fears are the same as the life that invented it. Texting and all that other thinks trend do that could distract them.

  4. Martha Jans says:

    What a fantastic product. I can’t believe it hasn’t been done before. Any word on where it’s at right now? Have any of the big car companies picked this up?

    Martha Jans
    16 Lakewood Dr Vancouver BC

  5. AssyMcgee says:

    Can they replace the beeping with fart sounds?

  6. I think this would be great for ALL ages because teens aren’t the only ones texting and multitasking behind the wheel.

  7. Kevin New says:

    Great idea…but for all ages. I think it should be fitted so it can’t be removed and for all ages. My son was nearly killed by a middle aged woman who was texting. He was waiting to turn left on his bike and she went right over him. Her minimal insurance has now left us $90,000 in debt….God bless America…..I think it should be more integral to the car so that the car slows down, won’t start unless seat belts are fastened etc… these other small issues can be ironed out with a bit of thought…

  8. Most kids text with one hand when they’re driving.

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