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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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.

"If a man really wants to make a million dollars, the best way would be to start his own religion." -- Scientology founder L. Ron. Hubbard

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