Your kid isn’t into driving, but what about now

Your scribe was at a conference lately, the subject of it irrelevant to this post, but a fascinating speaker presented a rather outrageous handful of statistics that had the room absolutely buzzing. First up – crime in most cities today is down, as compared to the 1980s and 1990s when many U.S. cities experienced massive crime waves. Yet, according to wide surveys, more parents today would not let their children walk to the end of the block at age 9 as compared to parents of children in the 80s and 90s. Rather odd, crime is lower today but parents are more apprehensive.

Here’s another one. Roughly 72% of teenagers reported obtaining their driver’s license within a month of turning the legal age to do so in their respective state during the 1980s and 1990s. If you were a teenager during those decades you know how important a driver’s license was. Fast-forward to now, and only 41% seek out a license upon it being legal for them to do so. This all makes sense if you really take some time to look around and observe where society is going. Kids are more solitary, connected to phones, interacting online, etc, that going out is no longer a priority. You can go out to your heart’s content over the computer!

Well, being that we’re an auto related blog, we’re going to zero in on the teens driving issue. Many are grumbling at this news, adults who remember how incredibly awesome it was when they first drove and can’t for the life of them imagine how their own kids couldn’t feel the same. But one automaker is on the adult side, and that is Citroen. The Ami, a recently released electric ride from Citroen, will be available on a subscription service to people as young as 14 as you don’t need a license to drive it. The French manufacturer has described the Ami as a “non-conformist object,” a car that is more of a quadricycle, and this is how at least in Europe Citroen is able to make it available to kids as young as 14 in France and 16 other neighboring countries. You see, many European countries offer something called a road safety certificate, a much easier thing to get as compared to a license.

The Ami is certainly safer to ride around in than a bicycle, moped or scooter. It is a fantastic alternative to public transportation and because of its cost and leniency in terms of license requirements, the French are expecting the Ami to bring teens back behind the wheel again. The vehicle has a 43-mile range on one charge and the battery can be recharged in three hours, just like a smartphone. The lithium-ion battery fits into the car’s flat floor, and an electric cable to the passenger-side door is the conduit. Don’t look for the Ami in the U.S. anytime soon however. Local laws are much more stringent in terms of allowing folks under 16 to drive. But hey, if we want them to get away from Fortnite, this is a viable option, finally! 

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