Usually when you think high-tech and cars, you think luxury or performance. However, a new technology from Ford is built on quite an opposite line of thinking -- slowing down.
A common fear among parents for decades has been that they might give the car keys to their kid only to have the kid pump up the stereo and put the pedal to the medal and lose control of the car. The possibility of saying "bye bye" to the new family car is enough for many parents to say "bye bye" to the possibility of their teen borrowing the new family car.
However, a new technology from Ford may offer a cure for worry warts. Ford is introducing MyKey technology in the 2010 Ford Focus Coupe aimed at pedal-happy teens. The technology will quickly spread to all of Ford's product line. The new technology is a special car key which limits the vehicle's functionality, allowing parents to hand over the car keys with less concern.
With the MyKey in the ignition, the car's top speed is limited to 80 mph and/or the stereo is limited to 44 percent of the maximum volume. Parents can set or unset these options, based on how responsible they think their young drivers are. With the key parents can also enable a sustain chime which will go off if the driver or passengers aren't using their seatbelts.
Even teens are begrudgingly warming up to the new idea. When surveyed, 67 percent of teens didn't like "the man" sticking it to their driving rights. However, when the teens were informed that the system would increase the frequency that their parents lent them their car, all but 36 percent got behind the idea.
For Ford, the new technology was relatively easy to implement as it uses off-the-shelf tech from within the company. For the new system, Ford adapted its SecuriLock tech, used in car-theft deterrence, which recognizes which key is in the ignition and adjusts the allowed vehicle operation accordingly.
The MyKey system is packed with even more functionality, also allowing traction control to be permanently enabled and enabling warning chimes to go off when the car reaches 45, 55 or 65 mph.
Teens and others may find the technology a bit Big Brother-esque, but at least with this new system kids will get access to a new set of wheels complete with Ford's hot SYNC technology -- so they shouldn't have too much to complain about.
quote: We all know only teenagers drive irresponsibly. Seriously, when was the last time you saw anyone yapping on their cell phone with music blaring, weaving in and out of traffic on a packed highway on your way to work that day? I'll tell you when: never.
quote: Yes it does, if someone is speeding up to cut you off, slow down so that there is 2 seconds distance when he gets past you.
quote: Throw all the attitude you want, I can shoot it down all day.
quote: If you see the situation you described happening all the time then you need to adjust your driving habits because other peoples habits don't cause them to see this happen all the time.
quote: You have NO, I repeat NO business being alongside one tractor trailer much less between two of them unless it is for the couple seconds it takes to accelerate and pass them.
quote: 1. you can always get out from between 2 rigs faster by braking, than by accelerating. Even if you have to limit your braking rate for someone following too close. Unless you are driving something with very good performance, and even then it's iffy. But I'll grant you it's not as satisfying.
quote: 2. Even if we stipulate accelerating is better. Change the programming so the accelerator overrides the limit for 15 seconds. Enough time to get out of trouble, then drops you back down.
quote: I don't agree with the speed limited. I do think they should limit the acceleration to something that doesnt allow burn outs or other such shenanigans.
quote: If your kid cant stay under the limit just take away the keys.. if he has his own car, happen to mention at a donut shop to someone "You had no idea" that your kid drives such and such vehicle and drives irresponsibly.
quote: Plus you need to make it so the pedal only goes 1/3 (or less, depending on the car) I see way too many kids burning rubber peeling out of the school parking lot in their dad's Mustang/etc even though the speed is under 30 it's still annoying and dangerous.
quote: Why would you wanna have any children if then you're gonna give more importance to a car than to their lives?
quote: So,it's the fear of losing their precious new car that motivates parents,not the fear of losing their children?
quote: When surveyed, 67 percent of teens didn't like "the man" sticking it to their driving rights. However, when the teens were informed that the system would increase the frequency that their parents lent them their car, all but 36 percent got behind the idea.