Ford Wants Your Teen to Hate It

How would you feel if you couldn't drive faster than 80, or couldn't raise the volume on your car radio above a certain point?  OK, maybe you wouldn't care so much, but your teenage son or daughter might.  Ford is going to introduce a new system, MyKey, on its upcoming 2010 cars, starting with the Ford Focus.  It will enable parents to program a key such that certain "safety features" are enabled.  Such as the above.

According to a Harris Interactive Survey conducted for Ford, MyKey appeals to parents (no?!).

* 75% like the speed-limiting feature
* 72% like the more insistent safety-belt reminder
* 63% like the audio limit feature

One has to wonder if you can get a discount on your auto insurance if your car has this MyKey system.  You can bet Ford will lobby insurance companies for it.

About 50% of parents who said they would consider purchasing MyKey also said they would allow their children to use the family car more often if it were equipped with the technology. Naturally teens are opposed to MyKey, with 67% saying they didn't want it. Once told that they might be able to drive more, the objections dropped to 36%.

Here are some of the features outlined in Ford's press release:

* Persistent Ford Beltminder 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.

* 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 (Blind Spot Information System) with Cross Traffic Alert cannot be deactivated.

* 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

Well, we know what the answer would be if a teen was asked, but how about HH readers?  What do you think?  Good marketing ploy?  Hate it?  Like it?  Call you again if insurance companies give a discount?
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