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http://biz.yahoo.com/prnews/081006/clm019.html?.v=101

Ford's New MyKey System Helps Teens Drive Safer, Conserve Fuel; Gives Parents Peace of Mind
Monday October 6, 9:00 am ET
- MyKey(TM), another innovation from the company that introduced SYNC(R), allows parents to limit speed and audio volume to encourage teens to drive safer and improve fuel efficiency.
- Harris Interactive Survey shows that many parents would allow teens to drive more often if their vehicle was equipped with MyKey - helping young drivers build road safety experience.
- MyKey will debut as a standard feature next year on the 2010 Ford Focus and will quickly be offered on many other Ford, Lincoln and Mercury models.


DEARBORN, Mich., Oct. 6 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F - News) is introducing an innovative new technology -- called MyKey -- designed to help parents encourage their teen-agers to drive safer and more fuel efficiently, and increase safety-belt usage.

Ford's MyKey feature -- which debuts next year as standard equipment on the 2010 Ford Focus and will quickly become standard on many other Ford, Lincoln and Mercury models -- allows owners to program a key that can limit the vehicle's top speed and audio volume. MyKey also encourages safety-belt usage, provides earlier low-fuel warnings and can be programmed to sound chimes at 45, 55 and 65 miles per hour.

"Ford not only offers industry-leading crash protection and crash avoidance systems, we also are committed to developing new technologies such as MyKey that encourage safer driving behavior," said Susan Cischke, Ford group vice president of Sustainability, Environment and Safety Engineering. "MyKey can help promote safer driving, particularly among teens, by encouraging seat belt use, limiting speed and reducing distractions."

MyKey is appealing to parents of teen drivers, including 75 percent who like the speed-limiting feature, 72 percent who like the more insistent safety-belt reminder, and 63 percent who like the audio limit feature, according to a recent Harris Interactive Survey conducted for Ford.

About 50 percent of those who would consider purchasing MyKey also said they would allow their children to use the family vehicle more often if it were equipped with the new technology. The added seat time can help teens build their driving skills in a more controlled setting, complementing graduated licensing laws that give young drivers more driving freedom as they get older.

More than half of parents surveyed worry that their teen-age children are driving at unsafe speeds, talking on hand-held cell phones or texting while driving, or otherwise driving distracted. More than a third of parents also are concerned that their teens do not always buckle their safety belts when driving.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), teens are more likely to take risks such as speeding -- a contributing factor in 30 percent of all fatal crashes. Teens also are less likely to wear safety belts than older drivers.

Teens surveyed by Harris said they are largely open to MyKey if it means they will have more freedom to drive. Initially, 67 percent of teens polled said they wouldn't want MyKey features. However, if using MyKey would lead to greater driving privileges, only 36 percent would object to the technology.

"We've upgraded an existing, proven technology -- the SecuriLock passive anti-theft system -- with some simple software upgrades to develop a new unique feature that we believe will resonate with customers," said Jim Buczkowski, director, Electrical and Electronic Systems Engineering -- the same team that developed SYNC in partnership with Microsoft. "We also developed MyKey's functions in such a way to quickly spread it across multiple vehicle lines, giving us the ability to go mass market in the spirit of other Ford innovations such as safety belts, stability control and SYNC."

Holding the key

The MyKey system allows the parent to program any key through the vehicle message center, which updates the SecuriLock(TM) passive anti-theft system. When the MyKey is inserted into the ignition, the system reads the transponder chip in the key and immediately identifies the MyKey code, which enables certain default driving modes, including:

-- Persistent Ford Beltminder(TM) with audio mute. Ford's Beltminder system typically provides a six-second reminder chime every minute for five minutes. With MyKey, the Beltminder chime continues at the regular interval and the audio system is muted until the safety belt is buckled. A message center display "Buckle Up to Unmute Radio" also appears on the instrument cluster.

-- Earlier low-fuel warning. Rather than a warning at 50 miles to empty, MyKey provides a warning at 75 miles to empty.

-- If MyKey is in the ignition, features such as Park Aid and BLIS(TM) (Blind Spot Information System) with Cross Traffic Alert cannot be deactivated.

Additional MyKey features that can be programmed through the vehicle's message center setup menu:


-- Limited top speed of 80 mph
-- Traction control system, that limits tire spin, cannot be deactivated
-- Limited audio volume to 44 percent of total volume
-- A speed alert chime at 45, 55 or 65 mph
 

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I'm not quite sure what to say..........depending on how easy it is to program & so forth, it could turn out to be only a minor inconvenience.

A worst case scenario though would be either the gov't gets a whiff of this & forces this sort of tech on all autos after such-and-such model year........or other automakers preempt any such gov't action and come out with their own "nanny-tech"........
 

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Cue the whining for the teen drivers on the forum.

For the rest of us, a "duh" feature. Why hasn't anyone else thought of this?
 

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I know lots of people who are way past their teens that need this.........
 

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This is another one of those features that sell cars, and I'm sure many of you know what I'm talking about.

Parents are at a Ford dealer buying their teen a new car, and it comes down to Civic, Corolla, Lancer, Cobalt, and Focus. Ford salesman shows them the MyKey feature. Parents realize that, like the rest of us, that most cars in a given class are more or less the same, but the Focus has this feature that they really like. Focus gets bought.

This is really basic stuff. Traction control on, speed under 80, and sound system below deafening. I know, when I was a teen, I'd rather have a car that had those limitations, than not being able to drive whenever I liked.

Or taking dad's Mustang GT out on prom night, or whatever. You can be driving a cool car, and be locked out of doing stupid stuff that you could hurt yourself with, and dad knows that his Mustang isn't getting beaten on.
 

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Why do I get the feeling that suddenly, many cars are goign to have versions of this tech ;)

I'm curious how the technology works and interfaces with the car. Does this mean all Ford keys or ignitions will now have a different communication system to enable this feature?

Ford has been doing alot of feature overhauls in their vehicles, blind spot mirrors, capless fuel filler, etc... They are changes that take effect across the board, this may be similar.
 

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This is another one of those features that sell cars, and I'm sure many of you know what I'm talking about.

Parents are at a Ford dealer buying their teen a new car, and it comes down to Civic, Corolla, Lancer, Cobalt, and Focus. Ford salesman shows them the MyKey feature. Parents realize that, like the rest of us, that most cars in a given class are more or less the same, but the Focus has this feature that they really like. Focus gets bought.

This is really basic stuff. Traction control on, speed under 80, and sound system below deafening. I know, when I was a teen, I'd rather have a car that had those limitations, than not being able to drive whenever I liked.
QUOTE]

Also im sure alot of teens will be thrilled to know that Civic and Corolla dont have the Smart KEY "aka big brother" feature. This is really a good feature and I assume it can be de programmed if an adult wants to drive it faster or turn up the volume?

Why do I get the feeling that suddenly, many cars are goign to have versions of this tech ;)

I'm curious how the technology works and interfaces with the car. Does this mean all Ford keys or ignitions will now have a different communication system to enable this feature?

Ford has been doing alot of feature overhauls in their vehicles, blind spot mirrors, capless fuel filler, etc... They are changes that take effect across the board, this may be similar.
I think the best thing Ford is doing is starting off on the entry level cars. The 2008 Focus was included in the lists of first cars to have SYNC, the Escape (2009) was the second ford to have capless fill, and now this will get the features to crawl up the lineup faster into more expensive and larger FoMoCo vehicles.

Finally, the Fiesta is rumored to have optional push button start in higher trim levels. That means all Lincolns and most Fords could have it by the end of the decade.
 

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Meh most teens cant afford a new focus anyway unless their parents are pretty well off. Most teens will be buying used cars, so it will take a while for this feature to become effective. Besides if a teen is sane, for the price of a new focus/civic/corolla they can pick up a relatively new luxury car or the like.
 

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I'm glad I've grown up before this :cool:
 

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Interesting technology the chimes at 45 55 and 65 mph will be annoying to most folks but some of the other feature especially the sound and speed limiter are pretty ingenious. i wish they had thought of the sound limiter sooner because it gets really annoying when little brats decide to turn the bass up so high that you can feel your whole car vibrate.
 

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I'm glad I've grown up before this :cool:
Exactly what I was thinking, I learned to defy gravity in an '82 Citation ;). They should take it a step further and make the vehicle's trip data downloadable from a USB port in the dash to a memory key. The parents pop it in their PC and voila, the trip they took including WHERE they went is right on the screen.
 

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Exactly what I was thinking, I learned to defy gravity in an '82 Citation ;). They should take it a step further and make the vehicle's trip data downloadable from a USB port in the dash to a memory key. The parents pop it in their PC and voila, the trip they took including WHERE they went is right on the screen.
THAT would suck especially if you have to go park...
 

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I think it's a great idea, but I'd go 1 step further. I would give parents an option of how many people were in the vehicle too. Put pressure sensors under all the seats and if there are more than a specified amount of passengers, the car wouldn't start.

I wonder if there will be an insurance deduction for having this tech?
 

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I think it's a great idea, but I'd go 1 step further. I would give parents an option of how many people were in the vehicle too. Put pressure sensors under all the seats and if there are more than a specified amount of passengers, the car wouldn't start.
So i guess loading the back seat of the focus with groceries or anything else without a pulse would be out of the question too?
 

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I think it's a great idea, but I'd go 1 step further. I would give parents an option of how many people were in the vehicle too. Put pressure sensors under all the seats and if there are more than a specified amount of passengers, the car wouldn't start.

I wonder if there will be an insurance deduction for having this tech?

That'd be nearly impossible to determine, esp. if the kid hauls a buttload of cargo or misc. crap around in the car. It'd be about like having to buckle a bag of groceries in the front seat of your '74 T-Bird.....
 

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Ford to Offer Speed Control on 2010 Models

Sorry if Repost:

Ford to Offer Speed Control on 2010 Models
Fox News


So you think junior is a little too lead-footed when he drives the family car? Starting next year, Ford Motor Co. will give you the power to do something about it.




The company will roll out a new feature on many 2010 models that can limit teen drivers to 80 mph, using a computer chip in the key.

Parents also have the option of programming the teen's key to limit the audio system's volume, and to sound continuous alerts if the driver doesn't wear a seat belt.

"Our message to parents is, hey, we are providing you some conditions to give your new drivers that may allow you to feel a little more comfortable in giving them the car more often," said Jim Buczkowski, Ford's director of electronic and electrical systems engineering.

The feature, called "MyKey," will be standard on an unspecified number of Ford models when the 2010 cars and trucks come out late next summer. The feature will spread to the entire Ford, Lincoln and Mercury lineup as models are updated, spokesman Wes Sherwood said.

Ford arrived at the 80 mph limit even though freeway speed limits are lower in most states because it wanted to leave a margin in case an unusual situation arises, Buczkowski said. In some states, freeway speed limits are above 70 mph, Sherwood said.

"Just lopping it off at exactly 70 mph was felt to be too limiting," Buczkowski said.

The company already uses computer chips in its keys to prevent thefts. The car won't start unless it recognizes the chip in the key.

"It's making use of existing technology, and through the magic of software, we're able to build features on top of the features we already have," Buczkowski said.

In addition to speed limits, MyKey also will limit the volume of the audio system, and it will sound a six-second chime every minute if seat belts are not fastened. The chime sounds for adult drivers, too, but ends after five minutes to avoid annoying adults who adamantly don't want to wear seat belts, Buczkowski said.

Parents also have the option of having the car sound a chime if the teen exceeds 45, 55 or 65 mph.

Ford said its market research shows 75 percent of parents like the speed and audio limits, but as you might expect, 67 percent of teens don't like them.

Danisha Williams, a 16-year-old senior at Southfield-Lathrup High School in suburban Detroit, said she's against the idea.

"I wouldn't want my parents to have that much control over how I'm driving," she said. "If your parents are holding your hand, you're never going to learn."

Brittany Hawthorne, 17, another Southfield-Lathrup senior, said there may be emergency situations where she'd have to drive more than 80, possibly to accelerate to avoid a crash.

Ford's research shows that parents would be more likely to let teens use their vehicles with the system, Sherwood said, and if it gets them the car more often, the number of teens objecting drops by nearly half.


More at Link



 
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