I remember the first time I was allowed to drive my parents’ car on my own after I passed my test. At the time, it seemed like the ultimate freedom – speed, music and route were all mine to control, exactly as I wished.
It’s a feeling that today’s learner drivers may never experience – at least, not if their parents buy a new Ford. Ford has announced that it will introduce its MyKey technology to European models.
Already an established fixture in America, MyKey enables car owners to have one key that is programmed with additional restrictions, such as a speed limiter, speed warnings at different thresholds, more persistent seat belt alerts and extra low fuel warnings. For example, the radio can be kept silent until everyone in the car has buckled up, which I think is rather neat.
It is also possible to prevent the driver using the key from deactivating the traction control and parking assistance systems – preventing wheel spinning and helping prevent parking dings, respectively. A Ford survey in America found that parents welcomed the chance to remotely limit their children’s actions when driving their car, and the concept of limited freedom certainly seems a good idea for young drivers.
Of course, the reason MyKey makes sense is that newly-qualified young drivers are at much higher risk of an accident than older, experienced drivers. I was not a particularly reckless young driver, but when I look back there are certainly things I would have done differently and there were a few occasions when I was lucky to avoid a collision.
Here’s a video made by Ford explaining how the system works: