Millions of us will have learned to drive in a Ford Fiesta and a good chunk of us will have crashed the baby Ford, after being let loose alone in one for the first time. Luckily the number of over exuberant teens crashing Fiestas could soon fall dramatically thanks to a new safety system known as MyKey.
MyKey, as the name suggests, allows parents to program a specific car key for their child, which the car recognises before enabling additional safety restrictions. The system can limit the Fiesta’s top speed and the maximum volume the stereo can be played whenever a teenager hops behind the wheel.
Teenagers that like to set off before putting on their seatbelt will be in for a bit of a shock, too, as MyKey also enables a more annoying ‘insistent’ seatbelt warning, which can mute stereo audio completely until everybody in the front seat has buckled up. Mobile phone use can be heavily restricted. The system can be programmed to send a teenager’s incoming mobile phone calls directly to voicemail and save their texts for later reading, although outgoing calls can still be made – provided they’re placed via the car’s voice recognition system.
According to a Ford survey, more than half of parents worry that their teenagers are driving at unsafe speeds, talking on hand-held mobile phones, texting while driving, or are otherwise driving distracted. More than a third of parents are concerned that their teens do not always buckle their seatbelts when driving.
Unsurprisingly, many kids believe the MyKey system is unnecessary, but according to the same survey, they became more open to the system if it meant they were given more driving privileges.
MyKey will be available on the forthcoming 2012 Ford Fiesta.
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