FORD'S 'DAD IN THE DASHBOARD'
UK debut of MyKey lets parents set speed and stereo volume. Good idea or nannying nonsense?
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.
Itís 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 canít go out racing in the family car. They even suggest that younger drivers might warm to the idea once they realise that itíll make their folks more amenable to the idea of them borrowing the car.
Itíll soon be rolled out as an option on all Ford models, and the company says that thereís 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 itís a success, you can bet your bottom dollar that other manufacturers will follow suit with similar systems.
Whatís more, thereís a danger that itíll lull parents into a false sense of security Ė after all, limiting the maximum speed of the car canít prevent younger drivers from driving dangerously and doing damage in residential areas.
So whatís your take on it? Are you a parent whoíd welcome it? Or is it just another gimmick, another bit of electronic trickery that youíd sooner do without?