Ford Lets Parents Ban Teens' In-Car Calls
October 28, 2011 12:06 AM
New addition will trick teens by sending calls directly to voicemail
enjoyed a presentation from Ford Motor Company (
) 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
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
"The whole principle [of censorship] is wrong. It's like demanding that grown men live on skim milk because the baby can't have steak." -- Robert Heinlein
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