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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By Flunk on 10/28/2011 9:11:17 AM , Rating: 0
When I was a teen I could have easily hacked, reprogrammed and set this up any way I wanted. This sort of thing is kinda pointless because every parent I can think of is less tech savvy than their children.

Plus, even an absolute moron could realize that this is happening and borrow mommy or daddy's key.

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

"It looks like the iPhone 4 might be their Vista, and I'm okay with that." -- Microsoft COO Kevin Turner

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