MyKey locks down kids' safety

2011-10-28 09:00

COLOGNE, Germany - Ford is trying to help parents to ensure their children drive more safely with technology that can block incoming cellphone calls and text messages while they are behind the wheel.

The Ford MyKey 'Do Not Disturb' feature claims to be an industry first and is intended to help parents encourage younger drivers to concentrate on the road rather than the social network.


'Do Not Disturb' is part of Ford’s MyKey technology which blocks incoming calls and text messages from a Bluetooth-paired cellphone and diverts voice calls to voicemail and saves text messages.

The system also lets car owners (read ‘parents’) program a special key that can also restrict the vehicle’s top speed to 130km/h and limit audio volume. It can also encourage seatbelt use and give earlier low-fuel warnings.

Finally, it can sound warning chimes at set points between 70 and 110km/h.

Peter Patzelt, one of the MyKey designers, said: “MyKey adds a dimension to auto safety by giving drivers technology that encourages safer driving and limits their exposure to risk, regardless of age or experience.

“MyKey can give parents peace of mind when they hand car keys over to their children and 'Do Not Disturb' enables parents to control another risk factor when their child gets behind the wheel.”


Research suggests that drivers in Europe younger than 25 are as much as three times more likely to be involved in a fatal road accident than experienced drivers.

“Inexperienced drivers are typically the most at-risk on the road,” Patzelt said. “The more we can encourage safe driving and limit distraction the better. With MyKey, parents can set limitations, while still allowing the freedom of driving a car.”

MyKey will become available on the Ford Fiesta in 2012 before being expanded to other car models.

Whether the systems will be introduced to South Africa has yet to be decided.

  • don.odendaal - 2011-10-29 20:07

    What a brilliant idea it should be made a standard feature on all cars

  • gilbert.reinhardt - 2011-10-30 18:00

    Good idea, Add lower powered alternatives like the Italians do with their models to allow younger drivers to own the same decent vehicles. Super high insurance if you are under 25 and own a high powered vehicle. All steps in the right direction

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