A brand new car designed by motoring experts for five to 10 year olds is to launch for the first time.
Nine months in development, the two-seater will feature twin electric motors, disc brakes, independent suspension, right or left hand drive steering and an innovative system that detects obstacles and stops the car to avoid collisions. The cars will feature a contemporary body, styled by car designer Chris Johnson, who has over 30 years’ experience in automotive and product design both working directly for car manufacturers and as a design consultant.
The training car has been specially produced by Young Driver Motor Cars Limited, a division of Young Driver, the UK’s largest provider of pre-17 driving lessons. Young Driver has delivered over 300,000 driving lessons to 10-17 year olds at more than 40 venues across the country. Revealing its plans for the first time at the Gadget Show Live, NEC, members of the public will see a sneak preview of the car’s design with youngsters being given the opportunity to test drive one of four working chassis and provide feedback in this final development phase.
The car will be able to reach speeds of up to 10mph, while a safety mechanism will ensure the car automatically cuts out if it is in danger of a collision. Parents will also be able to utilise a remote control to stop the car if it became necessary.
The car will officially launch in May 2016, when youngsters will be able to drive the vehicle at selected Young Driver venues across the UK. Road systems will be created to allow the drivers to try their hand at everything from manoeuvring, junctions and traffic lights to reversing and parking.
Kim Stanton, director of Young Driver, said: “This is not a toy, it is very definitely a small car! We’ve had children involved throughout its development, working with the designers and engineers to ensure that it provides a realistic driving experience. Many young people attend Young Driver lessons with brothers and sisters under 10 years old and there has been nothing on the market to cater for younger drivers. We created these training cars for 5-10 year olds from scratch because nothing existed in the market other than toys and fairground rides, and these don’t give a realistic driving experience.”
Stanton continued: “The ultimate aim is to give youngsters a greater insight in terms of road safety. By getting behind the wheel of a car, and tackling some day to day situations like junctions, passing cyclists and reversing, this age group will have a much clearer idea of how to protect themselves as pedestrians or on their bikes. Of course, it will also be great fun for them, which always helps with learning!”
The Gadget Show runs from 31st March to 3rd April, where 5-10s will be able to try the new vehicle and 10-17s can have a Young Driver lesson in the scheme’s dual control SKODA Citigos.