If you’re the parent of a new driver, you’ve probably heard about Ford’s MyKey. Announced last spring, the MyKey feature allows owners of equipped vehicles to set limits for various drivers by reprogramming keys. Using a master key, owners can set a maximum speed limit, set a warning tone and mute the radio until the seat belt is buckled, set a longer “low fuel” warning and prevent safety features (such as stability control, traction control and blind spot warning) from being de-activated. Maximum audio volume can also be limited to 44%, and owners can set warning chimes at speeds of 45, 55 or 65 miles per hour.
Starting late next year, Ford will make MyKey standard equipment on all Taurus and Explorer models, and will add the ability to block Sirius Satellite Radio channels with explicit content. I’m not sure that will have much of an effect, since it won’t block explicit content on MP3 players and cell phones, which can play through the audio system. Is Howard Stern really a threat to today’s youth? Can teens hear anything on Sirius Radio that they can’t hear from friends or download from the internet? I’m guessing “no” on that.
Still, I think Ford’s on to something with MyKey. If I had a new driver, I’d certainly appreciate the ability to set speed limits, and to remind them of the importance of buckling up. Expect to see Ford roll out the MyKey feature across a wide range of Ford and Lincoln vehicles in the coming years.