Automotive

Firefly puts 5-year-olds in the driver's seat

The Firefly is designed to teach kids as young as five to drive
The Firefly is designed to teach kids as young as five to drive
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The Firefly is designed to teach kids as young as five to drive
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The Firefly is designed to teach kids as young as five to drive
The Firefly was designed by Young Driver for use in its driving schools to reach a younger age group
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The Firefly was designed by Young Driver for use in its driving schools to reach a younger age group
The Firefly has many of the same features of a full-sized car including suspension, headlights and turn signals, and hydraulic disc brakes.
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The Firefly has many of the same features of a full-sized car including suspension, headlights and turn signals, and hydraulic disc brakes.
Adults can accompany their kids in the Firefly and enjoy a top speed of 10 mph in Experienced mode
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Adults can accompany their kids in the Firefly and enjoy a top speed of 10 mph in Experienced mode
The Firefly was designed to give young riders a feel for what it's like to drive a working car
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The Firefly was designed to give young riders a feel for what it's like to drive a working car

Earlier this year, UK-based Young Driver announced a prototype of an all-electric, two-seater car designed specifically to teach kids ages 5 to 10 how to drive. The company recently unveiled its production model of that prototype, the Firefly, featuring many of the same features found on a typical car for adults.

With hydraulic disc brakes, rack-and-pinion steering, working headlights and turn signals, and an independent suspension, Young Driver says the Firefly drives like a full-size car and should not be considered a toy.

What makes this unlike a real car, however, is its small size and very limited power; understandable considering its intended driver. Twin electric motors have a restricted top speed of 10 mph (16 km/h) in "Experienced" mode. But that gets limited to 5 mph when the Firefly is placed in "Junior" mode.

The two motors are powered by twin 12v batteries that can run continuously for up to nine hours before recharging. A tablet-based dash indicates speed, time and power reserves.

An optional safety system when operated in Junior mode uses a set of sensors to detect obstacles and stop the car before it hits them, whether the driver is in forward or reverse. That system is deactivated in Experienced mode.

Anxious parents will be able to supplement the Firefly with a remote kill switch that will stop the car from up to 120 m (394 ft) away, regardless of what mode the car is in.

Taking the full car experience even further, Young Driver is offering a few options including different paint colors, individual badging and instruments, upholstered leather seats and steering wheel, wireless tire pressure indicators and an audio system.

Young Driver said it had up to 1,000 young drivers put four prototypes of the Firefly through testing before it proceeded to create the production version. The company will utilize the small car in its driving program at selected venues in the UK starting this fall with the price of a 20-minute lesson (including a 5-minute briefing ) set at £19.95.

In 2017, parents throughout the world interested in buying a Firefly for their budding young drivers will be able to purchase one for an estimated £5,750.

Contact: Young Driver

5 comments
highlandboy
No roll bar, no lap-shash safety belt. If we teach our kids to drive surely safety items and safe behaviours should come first.
Captain Danger
By the time the five year old come of age the cars will be driving themselves.
wle
horrible - should delay as long as possible intro to lethal weapons
wle
IT;S LIKE $7000!!! GEEZ
flybywire99
What a wonderful idea to get 5 year Olds to drive a functional vehicle because we all know all 5 year Olds have excellent eye/hand coordination and superior judgement skills.