Ford's MyKey System Puts Invisible Road Nanny With Teen Drivers

Posted by: David Kiley on October 6, 2008

Ford is clearly trying to appeal to today’s car buyers, not tomorrow’s, by rolling out a feature ion 2010 models that can limit teen drivers to 80 mph, using a computer chip in the key.

In the feature, called MyKey, parents also have the option of programming the teen’s key to limit the audio system’s volume, and to sound continuous alerts if the driver doesn’t wear a seat belt.
“Our message to parents is, hey, we are providing you some conditions to give your new drivers that may allow you to feel a little more comfortable in giving them the car more often,” said Jim Buczkowski, Ford’s director of electronic and electrical systems engineering.
MyKey will be standard on some 2010 cars and trucks come out late next summer, and spread to the entire Ford, Lincoln and Mercury lineup as models are updated.

Ford arrived at the 80 mph limit even though freeway speed limits are lower in most states because it wanted to leave a margin in case an unusual situation arises, Buczkowski said. In some states, freeway speed limits are above 70 mph.

Parents will also have the option of having the car sound a chime if the teen exceeds 45, 55 or 65 mph.

The automaker’s own market research shows 75 percent of parents like the speed and audio limits. However, 67 percent of teens don’t like them.

But the feature could have a benefit to teen drivers besides the obvious safety aspect. Ford’s research shows that parents would be more likely to let teens use their vehicles with the system. If it gets them the car more often, the number of teens objecting drops by nearly half.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, a research group funded by the auto insurance industry that is pushing to raise the minimum driving age to 17 or 18, found the key intriguing. IIHS says car crashes are the leading cause of death among teenagers.

Reader Comments

Laura Bailey

October 6, 2008 6:53 PM

I think is wonderful. Anything that will help keep teens safe, limit the speed in which a car should be driven, I'm all for it.

Rachel Nix

October 8, 2008 9:16 AM

It's about time. I'm sure we've had the technology to do this for years. Hopefully other car companies will follow suit. But if not, our family will only be purchasing fords in the near future.

Vineet

November 6, 2008 12:11 PM

My comment is that this system is wonderful.
All they need now is a program in the car to make it drive you home before 7:30, which is my curfew.

Also, my penis is 2 inches

Louie

November 9, 2008 1:49 AM

I agree with Vineet. This new system is wonderful. I think that the car should be programmed to drive home at 6:00. That's my curfew and that's the way it should be for everyone.

Also, I have no penis.

Vineet

November 11, 2008 2:39 AM

Oh you're right Louie. It should be 6:00 so when I get home it will be my bed time.

Also, I just lost my penis due to termites in the house, so I'm with you on that one.

Louie

November 12, 2008 1:05 AM

Oh thats too bad Vineet. Sadly, I was born without a penis so that makes me less of a man... One day when such technological advances such as this one grow, I will be able to grow my own. I think I am going to pick up a Ford, so I can control my own habits.

Vineet

November 12, 2008 1:13 AM

Bad idea, because I'm not even allowed to leave my own house.
I plan to be a 40 year old virgin, then happily marry whoever my mom tells me to.
I will live with her in my mom's basement, playing Halo 3/Gears of War all day.

We will share my power-rangers bunk-bed


No kids though, due to the fact that I have no penis, therefore I wouldn't even have sperm.

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Want the straight scoop on the auto industry? Our man in Detroit David Welch, brings keen observations and provocative perspective on the auto business.

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