Parents wondering just how to control their teenager's driving habits may now have a solution, thanks to Ford's new MyKey technology.
The premise is similar to that of a valet key: with each new vehicle comes a designated key that modifies the vehicle's operations.; Though valet keys often restrict access to the trunk and cut the vehicle's power, the MyKey's features are somewhat different.
Though the vehicle's power isn't diminished, a speed governor, set for 80 mph, is automatically activated, while parents can set a speed-alert chime for 45, 55, or 65 mph.; Traction control, which is automatically engaged upon starting a vehicle, cannot be turned of when using the MyKey, a move Ford envisions as preventing "inefficient" wheelspin.
MyKey also modifies the seatbelt warning chime (it now chimes constantly and mutes the stereo until the driver buckles his or her seatbelt), and limits the stereo's volume to 44 percent of its total volume.
Ford plans on introducing the MyKey feature on the 2009 Focus, but will reportedly offer it as standard equipment on other Ford, Lincoln, and Mercury products throughout the year.