MyKey Makes for Safe Teens, Sane Parents

By Ford Social Member

You and your kid may have the greatest relationship on the planet, but it’s in a teen’s DNA to find it totally uncool having you ride shotgun during the process of learning to drive. When the day comes to be legally allowed to go it alone, the teen driver will probably feel like it's finally the first day of the rest of his or her life. For parents, it will probably feel like the first day of the rest of the ulcer they’re going to develop knowing their baby is driving a car. Alone.

But necessity is the mother of innovation, and Ford wanted to put parents’ minds at ease as their teens developed their driving skills, since you won't always be there to say "buckle up!," "watch your speed!" or "turn down the radio!" The answer is MyKey®, which has the ability to limit a vehicle’s top speed and audio volume, while also encouraging safety-belt use.

“MyKey is exclusive Ford technology that encourages responsible driving habits for teenage drivers,” explained Brian Bennie, Ford Technology and Development Implementation Supervisor. “The parent can set reminders that sound a warning tone when the driver goes over a preset speed. MyKey also promotes safety-belt usage by muting the radio and keeping the Belt-Minder® warning from timing out if the driver and front passenger are not buckled up.” Also, rather than a low-fuel warning at 50 miles to empty, MyKey provides an early warning at 75 miles to empty.

A Harris Interactive Survey conducted for Ford revealed that more than half the parents surveyed worried about their teenagers driving at unsafe speeds, talking on hand-held cell phones or texting while driving, or are otherwise driving distracted. More than a third of parents also admitted to concern that their teens do not always buckle their safety belts when driving.

With MyKey, the parent can program any key through the vehicle message center, which updates the SecuriLock Passive Anti-Theft System. “It only takes a minute or two to program MyKey. The parent decides whether to activate it, and also decides which of the configurable features to turn on or off. And that encourages conversation between the teen and the parent about the importance of good driving behavior, so as they grow older, safe driving becomes a habit.”

When 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. Also when in the ignition, features such as park aid and BLIS® (Blind Spot Information System) with cross-traffic alert cannot be deactivated. “Ford wants to give parents peace of mind that their kids are following practical household rules in the car,” said Graydon Reitz, Director, Ford Electrical and Electronic Systems Engineering. “Parents obviously like this type of feature, and many teens are OK with it when they hear parents may give them the keys more often if the car comes with a technology such as Ford MyKey.”

Ford Planning Safety Manager, Andy Sarkisian, was one of the original inspirations for MyKey. “His daughter walked away from two serious accidents because she wore her safety belt,” Brian said. “He also received a letter from a young neighbor who thanked Andy for saving his life after he walked away from a serious accident, because Andy had encouraged him to wear his safety belt. The message is, safety belts save lives.”

Another benefit to MyKey is that it’s teaching teens a thing or two about improving fuel economy by not speeding. Ford research shows that driving 55 mph instead of 65 mph consumes 15 percent less fuel, and mastering other habits such as avoiding jackrabbit starts and excessive idling can help improve fuel economy by more than 50 percent.

MyKey debuted as standard equipment on the 2010 Focus, and is now standard equipment on nearly all Ford and Lincoln models.
MyName 12/02/2011

I saw this really good post today....
Prestashop Templates 11/12/2011
Related.. Trackback...

[...]the time to read or visit the content or sites we have linked to below the[...]...
Steve Besselman 07/19/2011
Mykey makes driving safer mmmkay?
Jonathan Lee 07/18/2011
@jimmy there's a difference between a key that can unlock doors and one that is programmed for specific personalized functions. In reality they are completely different technologies. The unlock function only needs to emit a certain frequency while the smart key must communicate with the car (I'm not 100% sure but my best guess). Kinda like comparing a $10 flip phone to a $150+ smart phone...
Jonathan Lee 07/18/2011
@samuel andrew gann considering the acceleration rate on most fords (accept for maybe mustangs, MAYBE) I highly doubt that they could accelerate to limited speeds (maybe 70-80?) And still be infront of someone...
Jim Walker 07/18/2011
I think its a cool idea. It's way more that GM does for their customers. If Ford keeps this idea long enough then our kids could have a vehicle that has this idea. For those of you that want it to actually limit the speed of the vehicle, do you know how hard it is to drive a governed vehicle? You really want an inexperienced driver in a car that does not react the way they are used to? I do realize most cars are governed but there is a huge difference between 107 mph on my Dakota and say you limiting it to 60 mph for "safety".
c l c 07/18/2011
Let someone else drive my Ford???? You've got to be kidding!
Bill Karnes 07/18/2011
I hope it works for the many DUI drivers as well--needs a kill switch for the motor.{Martha}
Bradley Harrell 07/18/2011
Since when does anyone listen to a computers voice and do what it says? C'mon ford! I love ya but, get real!
Jimmy Cass 07/18/2011
@brentonhood yeah, thanks for the words of wisdom, think ill make it through life now. $100 price range for a key for a car that's over 10 years old is still ridiculous especially since they've been using these chipped keys for even longer than that. It's a key. Maybe if I could plug headphones into it and listen to .mp3s or something, then it might be worth it.
Delray Beach- Maaco 07/18/2011
Keep up the good work Ford...
Shari Ricketts 07/18/2011
these controlled teens, will not drive this care forever, Parents what are you going to do when he drives someone else's car, you can't be in their back pocket forever, Set the rules and enforce them, don't make a device set the rules for your children. Man up and become the parent.
Ken Fietz 07/18/2011
I think it is a wonderful concept but i think someone is prone to get hurt because of these limits.
Rosa Castañón-Merino 07/18/2011
Ford your AWESOME <3
Andy Sanford 07/18/2011
Jimmy I feel the same the local Ford dealership told me $162 for a key for my 2000 F150
How come I can buy a Ford key on eBay for $20 and yes it is a brand new genuine Ford key. Come on Ford $162 for a key for an 11 year old truck
Dan Graveen 07/18/2011
My first car was nearly as old as I was, had over 150,000 miles on it, faded paint, electrical problems, and I still knew what 120mph felt like. My son will probably know the same..
Scott Lagas 07/18/2011
This is another reason why Ford is boss.
Sai Rahul Chowdary 07/18/2011
key is very awesome
Joanne Gumbleton 07/18/2011
Go Ford!
이호준 07/18/2011
한국에선 포드링컨차를 가진 사람들은 자녀에게 키를 맡기지않는다는 ㅠㅠ
Jean Watkins 07/18/2011
Ford or a parent can't control how careless a driver will be, but they make it so a parent can at least control the speed.
Samuel Andrew Gann 07/18/2011
question.. if your teen pulls out in front of someone (which often happens with younger drivers) and cant get out of the way of say a semi-truck, and the speed is limited. wont putting 10 redundant anti-speeding measures on the car just insure they get hurt? im actually quite curious on this
Ewa Krynski 07/18/2011
seems like a good strategy...
Don Bond 07/18/2011
I believe that Honesty Bars don't work as in the case of The Driver's License, that So many steal from...Cars needs to become a vending machines and the License a way to Pay to Drive...
Niall Gallagher 07/18/2011
I think this is a brilliant idea, the amount of young drivers I see (and being a young driver of 19) who clearly don't follow the rules of the road, or blare there music at the joyous hour of 1 in the morning & with regards to young drivers paying towards their parents insurance premiums. I had to pay for my car, insurance and maintenance before I even passed my test, so why not make the rest of them? + The driver would have to listen as we all know how annoying our parents voices can get if played over
Karen Myers 07/18/2011
Perhaps many parents can't afford to put their children in a brand new car today, but the technology had to be born at some point. It being available in 2011 means that by 2015 there will be many reliable used cars available with this feature.
Matt Lozy 07/18/2011
I'd use it more for valet. I'm not giving my kid (when I have kids that is) a nice new car
Marc Adrian Garza 07/18/2011
another reason i am a ford guy
Jeff Bryant 07/18/2011
On my 2011 F150 w/Ecoboost motor it limits top speed to 80mph. i programmed my key and the spare. if i ever let anyone else drive it. they get the spare to use..... that won't be for a while.......
Wendee 07/18/2011
Would be nice if older vehicles could be retrofit with MyKey. I don't know too many teens driving around brand-new vehicles, and my kids' lives are just as valuable as those of parents who can afford new cars. I have an 05 Freestyle and my son (who goes for his driving test next week) has an 01 Ranger.
Reuben Goldenstein 07/18/2011
You could do like my parents did when I reached that age and insist that the teen driver pay for the increase in the parent's insurance premiums (due to having a teen driver in the household) out of their own earnings before they be allowed to drive.
Pat Scott 07/18/2011
this is the best news I've heard in a long time wish it was around when my kids were young wait to go ford
Phillip Gerber 07/18/2011
Tim you would be surprised when i was in high school there were plenty of kids with new cars. But i think its a great idea i know i could use it now. Probably could save me from a speeding ticket or two.
Douglas Cooper 07/18/2011
...looks more like a guitar pick-up
Yamakasi Drift 07/18/2011
I prefer to switch to Shelby
Tim Theodorou 07/18/2011
Suppose I get a vehicle and it happens to have "MyKey", can the dealership deactivate it?
Darren Vel Satis 07/18/2011
what does it do, i got bored readign it
Jonathan Mezzadri 07/18/2011
Or teens could drive on a 12 year old car like I did until they learn how to drive!
Aaron Punch 07/18/2011
If it can't restrict the vehicle to 50 mph or disable texting it's just a marketing gimmick. This should have been in the economy cars that kids drive 10 plus years ago.
Tim Peterson 07/18/2011
Great idea, but how many parents can afford to put their kids in a 2010 or newer vehicle???
Tammy Linton 07/18/2011
can you get them for older cars
Jimmy Cass 07/18/2011
Does it cost almost $100 to get a copy of the key made? That's about the ridiculous price I was quoted to get a key copy made for my 1999 explorer the other day. Absolutely ridiculous.