Thursday 22nd November 2012


FORD'S 'DAD IN THE DASHBOARD'

UK debut of MyKey lets parents set speed and stereo volume. Good idea or nannying nonsense?


It’s already been around in the US for some time now, but Ford’s MyKey system is set to make its debut in the UK this December on the revamped Fiesta.

New system will debut in Fiesta
New system will debut in Fiesta
This new system is geared towards parents who share their car with their kids. The premise is simple: you get a special key to give to your kids, and you can program how the car behaves when it’s driven using that key.

You can limit the maximum speed at which your progeny can drive, as well as how loudly they can listen to the stereo. The stereo can even be turned off if seatbelts aren't being worn. There are also options to prevent deactivation of driver assistance technology, such as traction control and the new automatic 'city stop' braking function, and even to provide an earlier fuel warning.

It’s the first system of its kind, but Ford hopes that this sort of technology might sway potential customers who want to make sure their offspring can’t go out racing in the family car. They even suggest that younger drivers might warm to the idea once they realise that it’ll make their folks more amenable to the idea of them borrowing the car.

It’ll soon be rolled out as an option on all Ford models, and the company says that there’s the option to expand it to include other vehicle functions, too, atlhough we're struggling to think what. No access to the boot? Engine stops if all occupants start a Bohemian Rhapsody singalong?

If it’s a success, you can bet your bottom dollar that other manufacturers will follow suit with similar systems.

MyKey can be used to govern top speed
MyKey can be used to govern top speed
With European drivers under the age of 25 twice as likely to be involved in a fatal accident as any other, according to Ford research, this all seems on the surface like a pretty good idea. But that said, none of us likes a nanny in our car, and it did get us wondering whether it might all be a little over-zealous.

What’s more, there’s a danger that it’ll lull parents into a false sense of security – after all, limiting the maximum speed of the car can’t prevent younger drivers from driving dangerously and doing damage in residential areas.

So what’s your take on it? Are you a parent who’d welcome it? Or is it just another gimmick, another bit of electronic trickery that you’d sooner do without?

Author: Scrof
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