Firefly Electric Car Designed For Driving Lessons For 5-10 Year Olds

NOV 4 2016 BY MARK KANE 25

Young Driver Motor Cars Limited, a division of Young Driver, has introduced the Firefly – called the world’s first electric car specially developed for five to 10 year olds.

According to Young Driver, prior to the Firefly there were no suitable EVs for driving lessons for the very young, beside toys typically designed for the under five crowd – like the Radio Flyer Tesla Model S.

Firefly electric car designed for 5-10 year olds

Firefly electric car designed for 5-10 year olds

Necessity is the mother of invention, and the company recruited a team of UK automotive experts that designed, engineered and manufactured the Firefly.

Driving lessons in a Firefly are available in UK from £19.95 (5 minute briefing period + 15 minutes of driving).

The top speed of the vehicle is limited to 10 mph, but safety features like “Junior mode” enables a lowering of the limit to 5 mph. Also of interest, the car’s safety systems detect obstacles in time to bring the car to a halt on its own.

Additionally, a remote control switch enables adults to stop the car from up to 120 meters away, in case of an emergency.

Firefly electric car designed for 5-10 year olds

Firefly electric car designed for 5-10 year olds

Firefly electric car designed for 5-10 year olds

Firefly electric car designed for 5-10 year olds

“The first two-seater Firefly cars were revealed in pre-production prototype form in April at the Gadget Show Live, when over 1,000 youngsters put the four prototypes through their paces. Since then, the company has continued to develop, test and refine Firefly, working with leading designers and tier one UK automotive suppliers to create the finished product which handles and drives like a full-sized car.

The Firefly technical spec includes hydraulic disc brakes, rack and pinion steering, independent suspension, an electronic tablet based dashboard and an eye catching body styled by veteran car designer, Chris Johnson. Chris has over 30 years’ experience in automotive design working for manufacturers including Rover, Jaguar, Ford and Volvo.

Firefly electric car designed for 5-10 year olds

Firefly electric car designed for 5-10 year olds

Firefly is powered by a state of the art electric drive train featuring twin electric motors enabling a top speed restricted to 10mph. The car can, however, be set to a Junior or Experienced mode. An innovative (patent pending) and optional safety system uses sensors to detect obstacles in time to bring the car to a halt when it is operating in the Junior mode, which also limits speed to 5mph. Working in forward or reverse modes, this is supplemented by a remote control switch which enables adults to stop the car from up to 120 metres away in case of an emergency. The automatic sensors and 5mph speed limit are deactivated in the Experienced mode, but the remote control is still operational.

The driver’s seat can be adjusted, allowing most youngsters aged from five to 10 to reach the pedals. An adult of up to 6ft can also drive, or be a passenger within the vehicle.

Firefly electric car designed for 5-10 year olds

Firefly electric car designed for 5-10 year olds

Firefly’s features include:

  • Independent suspension
  • Top speed of 10 mph
  • Adjustable driver’s seat
  • Fixed passenger seat
  • Hydraulic disc brakes, accelerator and forward/reverse control
  • Indicators and side repeaters
  • LED headlights and tail lights
  • Twin electric motors with up to 9-hour continual operation capability
  • Twin 12v batteries with 240v charger
  • Tablet based instruments including speedometer, clock and power reserve indicator
  • Lockable Junior and Experienced mode options with Junior mode restricted to speed of 5mph
  • Unique and patented safety system that brings the car to a halt before collision (in reverse or forward drive) whilst in Junior mode
  • The ability to stop the car by remote control from 120 metres
  • CE certification in progress
  • Range of options and accessories including bespoke paint colours and combinations, individual badging and instruments, upholstered leather seats and steering wheel, wireless tyre pressure indicators and in-car audio
  • GRP or carbon fibre body

The creation of Firefly means that Young Driver can now offer lessons specifically developed for this younger age group. Lessons in the Firefly will be available through Young Driver at selected venues in the UK in Autumn. The price of a 20 minute lesson (inclusive of a 5 minute briefing period) will be £19.95.

Whilst the product was initially developed for use by Young Driver, it will also be available for purchase worldwide by members of the general public from 2017 with a price tag in the region of £5,750 + VAT.”

Firefly electric car designed for 5-10 year olds

Firefly electric car designed for 5-10 year olds

Kim Stanton, who heads up Young Driver, said:

“We are delighted to be officially launching Young Driver Motor Car’s first electric car aimed at five to 10 year olds – Firefly. It has taken over a year to come together and involved the hard work of many talented and experienced people from the UK’s vibrant and successful automotive industry. We were surprised that nothing existed for this age range other than plastic toys, and it felt like we had to take up the challenge and run with it! Firefly is something very special, it’s a real car in its own right, designed, engineered and manufactured in the Midlands, Great Britain – home of the car industry. We know that youngsters will enjoy driving it and that through this they will learn about road safety, finding out about the basics of driving and gaining a better understanding of how it feels to be behind the wheel. That can only be of benefit when it comes to them being pedestrians, cyclists and future motorists out there on the roads.”

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25 Comments on "Firefly Electric Car Designed For Driving Lessons For 5-10 Year Olds"

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Yeah, but what’s the range?

The Firefly range is 8 hours continual operation.

Haha cute…

But if it does not have supercharger access or at least a range extender, then it is dead in the water. 😉

The Firefly range is 8 hours continual operation so it works for us!

No All Wheel Drive available?

I’m out.

Firefly is not a 4×4 but as it is powered by twin electric motors, it does work well off road. The ground clearance is not great with this body style but it will run easily on grass, for example.

Haha, now kids will learn to blame the “unique and patented safety system” if they hit something.

Rebadged iMiev?

This guy. ^
lol. I hope this helps kill the self driving car. So badly.

No, it’s completely unique!

No, it’s completely unique

Did no one stop to question the wisdom of teaching 5-to-10-year-olds to drive a car?

Talk about an accident waiting to happen! Seriously, why would anyone think this is a good idea?!?!

The only place such kids should be driving a “car” is in the bumper car arena at a carnival.

What’s wrong with teaching kids good driving habits?

I guess the answer to your question isn’t as obvious to everyone as it is to me.

“Hey, Bobbie, I learned how to drive a car!”

“Aw, gwan Randy, you didn’t.”

“I did too, I swear!”

“Then prove it, Randy! Take your dad’s car out of the garage and drive around the block.”

“I dunno… I might get in trouble.”

“I double dog dare you!”

“Well… okay.”

Kids who just “learned” to drive a bumper car might think exactly the same thing.

But, at least while being put through a “kids driving course”, there would be opportunity to hear lots of wise advice like, “remember, you can’t drive a real car until you’re old enough”, “a real car is a very dangerous machine”, etc..

Only an American could come up with such ridiculous logic; then again you are a nation of people who are quicker to blame each other for your own deficiencies rather than accept personal responsibility for mess-ups. It’s just how your society raises you.

Look, this isn’t rocket science. You have a big, safe floor space like a large indoor warehouse type thing or empty lot. The kid can drive the car around the lot. The car is power limited and has traction control so he can’t flip it. If he drives out of range, you can remotely power it down.

To actually imply that this could be dangerous because a kid would then feel qualified to take his Dad’s car keys and give is BMW a ‘spin around the block’ just paints you as living in some kind of dreamland.

I mean, heck, by your logic kids who did a bit of go-karting or slot car driving would get in their parents car and the slot car/bumper cars would be to blame, not the parents for neglect or the kid for sheer stupidity.

Actually, this is nothing new.
At a park near where I grew up, in the late ’50’s to early ’70’s, there was something called “Motor World”, a scale model town with roads and gas powered go-karts, where children could learn the rules of the road. I believe it was sponsored by GM.

Like these, the cars were limited to low speeds (they felt fast to the child behind the wheel) And there was adult supervision throughout the area, and an adult was rarely more than a short sprint away from rescuing a child from their own bad action.

– limited to 10 mph, but safety features like “Junior mode” enables a lowering of the limit to 5 mph.

– the car’s safety systems detect obstacles in time to bring the car to a halt on its own.

– remote control switch enables adults to stop the car from up to 120 meters away, in case of an emergency.

YEAHH, because this is TOTALLY going to make the kid think they can suddenly drive a full car. GET. REAL.

Our aim is to teach children about road safety from a young age. Education and experience is fundamental to avoiding road accidents and yes, 5-9 years old is young, but there is no reason why children can’t be educated from this age.

I prefer the Radio Flyer Tesla Model S, at 1/14th the price. I think the only advantages here are turn signals and the realistic styling of a 70’s era go-kart. You don’t even learn about charging cables in this simulation. Besides, after 20 driving sessions, the price is equal to a Radio Flyer Tesla. It is also 3x the price of a full-sized golf cart.
Driver’s licenses could become optional in 10-25 years, I do not see this as a long-term business opportunity. Bumper cars, however, yeah, that’s forever.

What’s the point? By the time these tykes are old enough to drive a car, there won’t be any cars that can be driven. All cars will be self driving, and it will be against the law to actually drive a car.

Good thing I ride a motorbike then. I’d like to try and see them ban motorbikes or make them self-driving. GOOD LUCK.

By the time these kids are old enough to drive cars will be “autopiloted”. ?

Even when the majority of cars are autonomous there will always be a need and/or demand for manual operation. Or i’d just take a motorbike and zip in and out of all the autonomous cars.