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Back to Motoring & Home News


Smart key lets parents teenage-proof car


Parents of young drivers in the UK will soon be able to teenage-proof their vehicle, thanks to Ford's myKey system.

Available in the American automaker's Fiesta model, the system will be available for the first time next month, allowing motorists and car insurance policy holders to program the vehicle to restrict speed and limit stereo volume.

"Ford's myKey allows parents to tailor a vehicle performance and driver environment to suit individual users," the American automaker told the Daily Mail.

"Permanent enabling of safety and driver aids as well as speed and audio limiting give parents greater control without impacting on young drivers' independence."

The system works by recognising different keys and adjusting the vehicle's settings accordingly to each individual driver. Any limits are linked to the specific key, allowing the vehicle's speed to be limited in one setting but have full functionality in another - a particularly appealing feature for parents who share their vehicle with their teenage drivers.

"All parents know that if teenagers are experts at one thing, it's finding ways of getting into trouble," Peter Patzelt, who developed the system for the UK, said.

"myKey allows Fiesta owners to set sensible restrictions for young drivers, and delivers peace-of-mind for parents, he said. "Parents love myKey because it helps them reduce their teenagers' exposure to risk at the wheel.

"Young drivers are not too keen on myKey until they learn that it often improves the chances their parents will allow them to drive in the first place."

The myKey system can also be programmed to alert the driver when they are reaching maximum speeds or running low on fuel.

While motoring advocates have welcomed the introduction of technology like Ford's, they stressed that more should be done to keep young drivers safe behind the wheel.

"Traffic is the biggest killer of young people, so it's vital that action is taken to tackle the additional risks they face on roads," Ellen Booth, senior campaigns officer at road safety charity Brake said.

"Manufacturers have an important role to play, and Brake welcomes this initiative," she added.

"However, Brake also urges the government to reform the system of learning to drive to a graduated system, so young drivers can learn to drive gradually, with less exposure to the riskiest situations."


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