Print 37 comment(s) - last by JediJeb.. on Oct 31 at 2:37 PM

New addition will trick teens by sending calls directly to voicemail

DailyTech enjoyed a presentation from Ford Motor Company (F) earlier today on distracted driving.

Among the new features presented by Ford at the session was a new aid to help parents prevent their teens from distracted driving.  Starting next year, Ford will update its MyKey system to feature the ability for parents to silently set their teens' phones to "do not disturb".

Ford Sustainability, Environment, and Safety Engineering Group Vice President Sue Cischke says the youngsters just can't always handle such distractions.  She comments, "Novice teen drivers are a special group of drivers, that can benefit from special protections while they become adult drivers."

The new feature will automatically direct teens' calls to voice mail, preventing their phones from ever ringing.  Of course the fly in the ointment is that teens can realize this and just refuse to sync their handsets to Sync.  Touché, indicated Ms. Cischke when we inquired about that issue, but she pointed out that parents can then simply call teens to see if they're squirrelling their way out of the do not disturb ban.

Why does Ford see it necessary to help "the man" keep those rebellious teens off their phones?  Well, according to Ford, studies indicate that 16 percent of all fatal crashes that teens get in are caused by distractions -- such as ringing phones during bad weather.  This is in contrast to adults, in which only 11 percent of fatal crashes involve distraction.

Ms. Cischke remarks, "Young drivers would benefit from further, but reasonable, restrictions."

She also reminded that MyKey will be getting several other new features, including new warning chimes signalling low gas sooner (e.g. at 75 miles to go, rather than just 50), the option to ban explicit satellite radio stations, and new parent-imposed speed limit settings (65, 70, and 75 miles per hour options will be added, in addition to the pre-existing 80 mph limit).

Ford also is trying to teach young drivers the skills they need to be responsible road warriors with its "Ford Driving Skills for Life" seminars.

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too bad sync can just be turned off
By invidious on 10/28/2011 9:26:30 AM , Rating: 2
Of course the fly in the ointment is that teens can realize this and just refuse to sync their handsets to Sync.

RE: too bad sync can just be turned off
By Samus on 10/28/2011 9:43:53 AM , Rating: 2
The Ford MyKey can be programmed to require sync pairing. This would require a teens cell phone to be present when they travel (a good thing) and the MyKey can restrict calling to certain numbers such as parents only (also a good thing.)

So no, Sync can't just be turned off for restricted keys. We have a 2010 Escape and have two admin keys + a valet key (really just a MyKey with maxed out restrictions, such as radio disable, 30mph top speed, trunk locked, etc.

My admin key has some factory restrictions lifted, such as the seatbelt minder disabled because I had abdominal surgery awhile back and couldn't wear a seatbelt over my lap for some time.

The cars are far more computerized, ie customizable, than you give them credit for. They are even downloading the engine firmware and software via 802.11n on the assembly lines. What other manufacture is even close to that advanced (other than Tesla?)

RE: too bad sync can just be turned off
By Kenenniah on 10/28/2011 3:02:05 PM , Rating: 2
Requiring pairing would be a bad thing in many situations.

Lost phone? Can't drive. Battery dead and forgot charger? Can't drive. Phone broke? Can't drive. The possibilities range from minor inconvenience, to major inconvenience, to dangerous situations.

For example I did quite a bit of hiking in remote locations during my teen years. If I'd had this system, what would I do if I lost or broke my phone while out hiking? There would be no way to call for help, and no way to drive home.

There are times where "protecting" our children can put them in more danger than they would have been without our interference.

RE: too bad sync can just be turned off
By cjohnson2136 on 10/28/2011 3:03:37 PM , Rating: 2
Or you just simple unpair the stuff and boom you drive away

RE: too bad sync can just be turned off
By Kenenniah on 10/28/2011 3:17:07 PM , Rating: 2
Read the post I was replying to. Here, I'll help.
The Ford MyKey can be programmed to require sync pairing. This would require a teens cell phone to be present when they travel (a good thing)

Meaning if there is no phone paired, the car won't drive.

By cjohnson2136 on 10/28/2011 3:57:36 PM , Rating: 2
Just because it requires pairing does not mean the the car won't run if the phone is not there. It just means you can't use the benefits of it being paired.

RE: too bad sync can just be turned off
By tayb on 10/29/2011 1:24:26 PM , Rating: 2
You took a god awful idea and made it even more god awful.

Out late with your friends and you realize you lost your cell phone? Oh well, at least you can still get home safe. Oh, wait...

By JediJeb on 10/29/2011 3:42:19 PM , Rating: 2
Well that would teach them responsibility to keep up with their phone, and there is always the option to use a friends phone or a pay phone to call their parents to come get them.

Not the end of the world, just a little embarrassing. Sometimes you learn good lessons with a little inconvenience.

By shortylickens on 10/28/2011 8:47:25 AM , Rating: 2
Now if we can just keep idiot grownups from causing accidents on the road we will be all set.

RE: Great
By Dr of crap on 10/28/2011 9:02:55 AM , Rating: 5
Amen to that.

And if cops could hand out driver retraining tickets for those that just NEED a refresher course when they do something so STUPID!

By Flunk on 10/28/11, Rating: 0
RE: Stupid
By cjohnson2136 on 10/28/2011 9:14:01 AM , Rating: 3
Just because you could have easily hacked it does not mean every teen can. I know plenty of my friends that could almost never hack this. Disable it from the system yes. But again it's just a tool for parents. Parents can use it as they see fit. Parents could even set up punishment for not using the system. I think any tool that can help parents is beneficial.

RE: Stupid
By tastyratz on 10/28/2011 11:14:36 AM , Rating: 1
no prettymuch any teen can figure it out, because when we were kids we actually had to hack it. Now teens just have to make outlandish posts on yahoo answers or google it. Novel concept for a temporary fix but not an all encompassing solution.

What ford needs to do for something like this to work is to ALSO develop a smartphone application for popular phones teens might have which keypad locks anytime the bt device connects as well as password protects disabling bluetooth. That could be circumvented but would add a layer of complexity slowing down the slow teens.

RE: Stupid
By cjohnson2136 on 10/28/2011 11:16:11 AM , Rating: 2
or you just let the parents use it as they see fit

Technology Already Exist
By kevinpmcw on 10/28/2011 12:21:17 PM , Rating: 2
SafeApp, LLC launched this technology on Android this year. It's called DO NOT DISTURB (Bluetooth) and only cost $4.99. No Ford required...

RE: Technology Already Exist
By cjohnson2136 on 10/28/2011 12:22:43 PM , Rating: 2
And what if you don't have an Android phone? Doesn't help you then does it.

RE: Technology Already Exist
By kevinpmcw on 10/28/2011 9:22:45 PM , Rating: 2
iPhone next, Android has larger market share globally.

By masamasa on 10/28/2011 11:05:27 AM , Rating: 2
At least somebody is thinking.

Makes things more dangerous
By tayb on 10/29/2011 10:39:15 AM , Rating: 2
It will take exactly one phone call before "teens" figure out that syncing their phone means they can't make calls. Now instead of syncing and making a hands free call they'll make a hands-on call with their phone next to their ear and a hand off of the wheel. They'll also read text messages and be unable to respond to them with voice commands.

This is idiotic.

By ciparis on 10/29/2011 12:22:48 PM , Rating: 2
Does it do anything about texting?

By Souka on 10/30/2011 10:40:38 PM , Rating: 2
"parents can then simply call teens to see if they're squirrelling their way out of the do not disturb ban"

teens can simply ignore calls from their parents... or setup call forwarding to VoiceMail if they call. I did this for when my boss called me afterhours. I'd listen to the VM then call back

By phantom505 on 10/28/11, Rating: -1
RE: Great!
By priusone on 10/28/2011 12:50:32 AM , Rating: 5
Bwahahaha, that will be child's play in comparison to what I'm going to do to my rig when my oldest one is using it. Dictator Dad. I'm going to prevent the throttle from going past a certain mark. I already have a tracker in the back of that sucker for work.

...and here is why...

Trust, but verify.

RE: Great!
By Philippine Mango on 10/28/2011 8:26:13 AM , Rating: 1
Sounds like a great idea... until you find out your child has died and or suffers from MASSIVE neck problems when they get rear ended from merging onto the freeway. I don't know, but it seems like the more authority restricts, the less people learn. It's hard to learn from your mistakes and the mistakes of others if they don't make them in the first place. Just encouraging the nanny state that we don't need. If you can't trust your kid to drive your car, then they shouldn't be driving at all!

Oh and btw, if you restrict them when they're first learning, then by the time they get old enough to have the restrictions lifted, they'll still be apt to taking the same risks you tried to prevent them from taking previously... (You're delaying the inevitable)

RE: Great!
By tng on 10/28/2011 8:56:34 AM , Rating: 2
Just encouraging the nanny state that we don't need. If you can't trust your kid to drive your car, then they shouldn't be driving at all!
Spoken like a person who doesn't have kids.

Where does the "Nanny State" come from? This is not some law passed by government, it is the rules that we as parents make our kids abide by. Kids can learn lessons about life in other less fatal places than behind the wheel.

As for delaying the inevitable, no, not really. By the time they move out and have their own car, you hope that they know that not watching the road can kill them. If they don't then you haven't done your job as a parent very well.

RE: Great!
By cjohnson2136 on 10/28/2011 8:59:29 AM , Rating: 2
I agree this is just another tool that can help parents do there job. Parenting is hard and any tool to help is beneficial. I would have a problem if the government was coming in and passing laws restricting this but have no problem with a business making an optional tool that parents can use if they so choose to.

RE: Great!
By phantom505 on 10/28/2011 4:37:55 PM , Rating: 2
You're one of those idiots that thinks they can keep their children naive of life. Then they go to college, get so drunk they die on their own vomit. I see it regularly.

How about getting them a car that doesn't have all the extra crap, and say no to mobile phones? What reason does a kid need one? I managed to get through life without one until I was 21 or so, I think they can too. Wouldn't that be easier and more cost efficient?

RE: Great!
By cjohnson2136 on 10/28/2011 4:43:31 PM , Rating: 2
No I actually wouldn't buy my car with this. I am just saying there are some people that would. Hence why I like that it is optional. Another thing is I am still 22 I am in that college drinking phase now. I plan on being just as relaxed as my parents were with raising me. I agree with them not having a cell phone until a certain age. But I do think if they are driving they should have one in case something happens. But for me if I find out they are talking/texting then they lose that privilege of driving and lose their phone it that's simple.

RE: Great!
By MrBlastman on 10/28/2011 11:05:40 AM , Rating: 3
Exactly. It's like I tell my wife: "There's no harm in a firm, but loving hand," in reference to my daughter launching into yet another terrible-two's tirade.

I remind my daughter, likewise periodically that she is the subject within a dictatorship, an authoritarian regime. There is no democracy with kids. They either listen or they are taught to listen. Parents who think otherwise are pansies and horrible at their job.

These are kids! It is great to teach them decision-making and reasoning skills (and I do)... but when their life is on the line, a good parent will do what they can to reduce the odds of them making a fatal mistake.

RE: Great!
By quiksilvr on 10/28/2011 8:52:10 AM , Rating: 3
Is that what you told your ex-wife?

RE: Great!
By Dr of crap on 10/28/2011 9:00:48 AM , Rating: 2
The better idea would be to teach your kid the right way to drive. And have a kid that respects you and respects the law. I have two young drivers and they don't speed, or text while driving.

It's a parenting thing - you obviuosly don't get it!

RE: Great!
By Digimonkey on 10/28/2011 10:40:00 AM , Rating: 2
Really? Unless you are somehow monitoring all their driving habits you can't really make such a claim, and if you say they don't do it while you're in the car with them your point is moot.

RE: Great!
By Dr of crap on 10/28/2011 1:11:42 PM , Rating: 2
That's what I said. I KNOW they do not text while driving or speed over 80.

Just as I would give them my new car to drive for a weekend.
I know how they behave. And the car would come back as I gave it.

My wife and I raised them right and they don't do those things.

You must not have instilled such morals in your kids.

RE: Great!
By Camikazi on 10/29/2011 12:06:53 AM , Rating: 2
Ha you actually believe that your kids always follow your rules? You shouldn't be so naive, even the best kid in the world will break rules just to see what will happen. I have had friends who were perfect little angels who always listened to mom and dad and never got in trouble, but guess what, once out of sight of their parents they did things they were not supposed too and I HIGHLY doubt your kids are any different. Kids will always try to push things, it's what kids do and it's what everyone growing up does.

RE: Great!
By JediJeb on 10/31/2011 2:37:52 PM , Rating: 3
Maybe a majority do but not all. I know when I was growing up I respected my parents enough to not do something like that on purpose.

I did stay out a few times later than I should because I lost track of time. When I got home my Dad was waiting for me. I explained what happened, and he would give that stern but understanding look then hit me with the worse response ever, "You know you had your Mother worried sick". That got me worse than hitting me over the head would have.

RE: Great!
By phantom505 on 10/28/2011 4:33:26 PM , Rating: 2
You (and the rest of the the DT reader base) missed the point already. I'm not going to bother to explain it to you. Some people just don't understand sarcasm when they hear it.

RE: Great!
By wickyman on 10/28/2011 1:43:15 AM , Rating: 3
A safety bubble? Are you insane, that would be a choking hazard! And it couldn't be a safety box either, as that would have pointy could put an eye out with that!

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