Young Driver Motor Cars Limited, the division of the biggest UK provider of driving lessons for candidates younger than 17, announced its small electric car Firefly, which will be available for the driving lessons of 5- to 10-year-old youngsters.
Young Driver Motor Cars Limited came up with the idea to create such a car when they realised that they could not find a vehicle suitable for the task of teaching children younger than 10 about the basics of driving. The first prototype of Firefly was presented in April at the Gadget Show Live, where prototypes were given to about 1000 youngsters in order to try them out, drive them and share their opinion with the construction team to further develop the vehicle.
Although it is meant to be a children's car and it is not in any case suitable for driving on ordinary roads, Firefly, which was designed by renowned car designer Chris Johnson, is technically quite a sophisticated little vehicle. It features hydraulic disc brakes, rack and pinion steering, independent suspension and tablet-based instrument panel. It has two electric motors, powered by twin 12 volt batteries that allow up to 9 hours of constant drive.
Since Firefly will most obviously be used by unexperienced children, the top speed in the mostly used Expert mode is limited to 10 mph. It's also possible to switch over to Juniro mode, which enables the car to detect obstacles on the road and make an urgent stop, if necessary. In this case, the top speed doesn't reach more than 5 mph. The system can at any point be overridden by the driving instructor, who can stop the car, whenever needed, with the help of a remote control.