Ford MyKey – The New Standard?

story-08-Ford-MyKey-1AIf you’re a parent, you’re naturally going to worry about your kids when they start to drive. Who doesn’t get discouraged when they see another fatality on the news involving teens, beer, and speeding? It’s enough to make any parent want to keep their kid’s vehicle options limited to a bike or the bus … God forbid they ever walk anywhere. But alas, we must face the reality that our kids need to drive — ask any parent who has ever played the chauffeur role. (Note to audience:  In tonight’s performance, the role of the chauffeur will be played by the gal who writes those clever little blog posts.  The role of the kids will be played by the same demanding kids who played the parts last week and the week before and the week before that, etc.) 

Enter Stage Right:  My Key. Not the cute little kid from the old Life Cereal commercial.  My Key is actually Ford’s latest answer to that infamous compound question that has been asked repeatedly by parents since way before the invention of the cell phone, or the car, or the horse drawn carriage for that matter… “Where are my kids and what are they doing”.  My Key may not be the answer to all of our parental problems — it certainly won’t throw in a batch of laundry for us while we’re doing three other tasks simultaneously, but MyKey will help keep your teen off the news with a few features that could potentially save their lives.

MyKey will let parents configure one key for their teens which will set limits on several features of the car. If the car is started with MyKey, the top speed can be limited to 80 mph, and chimes can be set to sound at 45 mph, 55 mph and 65 mph.

If seatbelts aren’t being used by both the driver and passenger then chimes will continuously sound until they are properly put on. And if the teen thinks he can just pop in the car and go on a free ride with his music blasting – they can forget it. If the seatbelts aren’t fastened then the radio will not activate and the top speed can be controlled by the parents so that the most excitement your teen will get is on par with wearing that embarrassing bunny outfit your Aunt got you for Easter… the stupid thing doesn’t even look like a bunn… nevermind… In any case, MyKey will assure that your teen isn’t racing or forgetting his seatbelt at the very least.

Other features include setting the max audio volume to half, keep track of mileage and provide earlier low-fuel warnings than standard.

The MyKey will become standard on most Ford “F” models and is currently available on 12 vehicles including the Taurus, Focus and Escape SUV. According to Amy Marentic, Ford’s marketing manager of large cars and crossovers, the decision to make the MyKey standard is so that parents who don’t necessarily need the technology now because their kids are too young to drive will have the feature available to them when their kids reach an age where they can drive.  Buyers of used cars can also have the feature available to them even if the previous owner didn’t have children.

It’s great that there are several measures being implemented to aid our teens in being safer on the road, but when it comes down to it, the only thing that gets them out of that accident is the ability to be a good driver. I remember when I first got my license and was really nervous about going out for my first solo drive. I would go 5 miles under the speed limit and never quite grasped how far I actually was away from the center line or the side of the bridge. But being nervous and safe is better than getting excited to go out to see how fast you can take dad’s Impala SS in a race (MyKey will hopefully put an end to this type of mentality).

It’s all about experience. If you can teach your kid what to do in various situations then that just might be what helps them avoid a potential accident. The best thing you can do is to be confident that your child knows what he or she is doing behind the wheel by actually seeing, first hand, that he or she knows what to do. MyKey helps prevent mistakes and carelessness.  Add this to airbags, anti-lock brakes as well as knowledge and a lillte know-how and you can be assured that your teen will be as safe as they can be on the road even if they are still demanding and self-centered … did I say that?  Nah.

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