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: 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.

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

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